Good Night Irene

At present, Irene is a Category One hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. In 24 hours from now, mid-afternoon on Sunday, Irene will be on or near the coast of New Jersey near Long Branch, and over the subsequent 12 hours she will be captured by mid latitude meteorological forces, converted to a tropical storm, and splayed across New York and New England. She’s heading straight for Springfield Mass, then over Vermont and New Hampshire and into Maine and points beyond, but she will be big and wide and wet and windy, so a large area will be affected.

Are you in Irene’s path? Have she been by your place yet? Anything interesting happen?


  1. #1 Matt
    August 27, 2011

    “sustained winds of 85 mpg…” still doing better than a hybrid car, tho.

  2. #2 John
    August 27, 2011

    We’ve had a few rain bands pass over Central New Jersey, but the worst of the storm is still well to the south of here (as of 3:30pm EDT).

  3. #3 Harrod
    August 27, 2011

    We are very wet in South Carolina and there are a lot of trees down but they were going to fall down anyway. Eventually.

  4. #4 Physicalist
    August 27, 2011

    Second rain band is hitting Boston now.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    August 27, 2011

    Yeah, that g just happens somehow! Miles Per Gust.

  6. #6 6equj5
    August 27, 2011

    Leadbelly predicted this.

  7. #7 Elizabeth
    August 27, 2011

    If you are in Western Mass (plus/mins) keep an eye out for an eye!

  8. #8 pennyquick
    August 27, 2011

    Physicalist: We got that band just a little while ago in RI. It is not actually raining right now but we have flood warnings.

  9. #9 Mr Ed
    August 27, 2011

    I’m about 10 miles east of Hartford Connecticut. Couple of bands of heavy rain so far. Just waiting now and trying to explain to the kids (13 and 8) that we might have to survive for a while with out electronic stimulation.

  10. #10 Selenica
    August 27, 2011

    Keep an eye on the dogs. They may get hungry.

  11. #11 Richard lasater
    August 27, 2011

    Gee folks, what you are saying doesn’t sound anything like what cnnbc is putting out. “Run for your life. The sky is falling”

  12. #12 Joshua Zelinsky
    August 27, 2011

    We’re starting to get a rain and wind here in Boston. So far nothing that serious.

  13. #13 Denise Seitz
    August 27, 2011

    Its been raining most of the day here in Lindenhurst, Long Island, NY. No winds to speak of as of yet. Most of the action here should be after midnight. We cut down a dead tree, one less to worry about.

  14. #14 Raging Bee
    August 27, 2011

    Pissing rain all day in Fairfax, VA. That’s it so far.

  15. #15 Garnetstar
    August 27, 2011

    I’m twenty miles north of Springfield, MA, so am fretting a little.

    Has just sprinkled so far, no wind. It’ll hit about 2 PM tomorrow, it seems.

    I think the flooding will be the worst effect.

  16. #16 P Smith
    August 27, 2011

    I live in Taiwan, and typhoon Nanmadol has been moving at a snail’s pace, less than 1000km in almost five days. When reports first appeared last Wednesday, that bastard was supposed to miss Taiwan entirely and go right over Okinawa toward mainland Japan. Instead it did a zigzag and moved right over us.

    It’s now, 7AM on Sunday as I write, and the winds are picking up towards the north end of the island. It’s still intensifying to category 4, but is supposed (that word again) to weaken to a category 2 storm by Tuesday. It’s looking likely the storm will drench the island from Monday to Wednesday.

    If I was guaranteed by law to be paid whether I worked or not due to a typhoon, or even just no pay, I wouldn’t mind so much. But not only do days lost to typhoons mean no income, quite often businesses that operate M-F will work on Saturdays to make up for lost revenue.


  17. #17 Greg Laden
    August 27, 2011

    P Smith, good luck, we’ll be thinking about you!

  18. #18 Lou Jost
    August 27, 2011

    #11, Remember the people who really got smacked don’t have electricity or internet anymore, so there could be a reporting bias here….

  19. #19 Jesse
    August 27, 2011

    So far in NYC just raining a lot and some wind. ‘m not all that worried about Manhattan b/c we get our water form upstate and it’s pumped underground; the only way to lose it would be a massive failure that frankly a hurricane isn’t likely to cause.

    Power is another story, but we have underground lines here. In Brooklyn and Queens more is above ground, and that is more problematic for people. And if you have that nice house in the Rockaways it might be under threat.

    I dunno, to me, the geography of New York City prevents the possibility of a Katrina-scale problem even with a stronger storm; Manhattan is largely pretty high (it’s hilly) and the lower parts of the city are out by the Airport and the beaches. The Bronx is on the mainland and it’s also pretty hilly as these things go. And a 20-story brick building isn’t going to move that much in a 100 mph wind, even.

    I don’t mean to sound like I think there’s never anything to worry about. But I have lived in storm-prone areas most of my life. I’ve learned to respect them, but also I like to think developed a realistic assessment of what they are likely to do. Honestly, nor’easters scare me more.

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    August 27, 2011
  21. #21 Greg Laden
    August 28, 2011

    Jesse: All good points. Another thing is that in the northeast, houses that are not built to handle a couple of feet of snow on the roof don’t last long (and usually don’t get built to begin with). Strong wind is different than strong roof, but there is a connection.

    Plus, even if it may not always feel this way, the zoning laws in NY and New England are both real and mostly effective compared to certain other places.

  22. #22 fancyflyer
    August 28, 2011

    The winds blow out windows though, and the flying (or falling) glass can be dangerous. Downed power lines are really dangerous, especially with lots of water on the ground. Don’t go out roaming around thinking you’re Batman.

  23. #23 hoary puccoon
    August 28, 2011

    we’re in France, so completely out of it, but we’re really thinking about you guys on the east coast– old friends in the Carolinas, family in the Boston area– hang in there, everybody.

  24. #24 Jesse
    August 28, 2011

    Greg: to your point about strong roofs, it’s worth noting that a common design in New England especially is to have the pilings (on those pretty seaside houses in Scituate or Hull, for instance) driven deep into the sand. That is, the ones that were built 100 years ago are actually better built than more recent homes, largely because they didn’t have concrete. The pilings (the under-sand part, anyhow) don’t rot easily and they aren’t going anywhere. They’ve often stood up to massive storms already.

    And yeah, if your roof can handle 60 mph+ winds and a foot of snow, a lot of rain and wind is not likely to damage it much.

    Someone explain this to me: I lived in Florida for a bit. And people there insist on building houses that are essentially bungalows on a slab of concrete. And then it is this gigantic mystery why they get blown off the foundations in a hurricane — an occurrence that is not a surprise, I would think. They also insist on building their piling-less (either concrete or wood) houses right in front of the water without even putting them up on a dock, or something, anything.

    What drives this craziness?

  25. #25 Physicalist
    August 28, 2011

    Basically a non-event in Boston (which is how I like it).

  26. #26 P Smith
    August 29, 2011

    Nanmadol turned out to be the big bad chihuahua: all bark and no bite. It huffed but it didn’t puff, and it wouldn’t have knocked down a shoji house in Japan, never mind wood.

    For days it got stronger and stronger, building from category 2 to 4 and threatening 5, then as soon as it got to Taiwan, it wimped out. The south got hit by a lot of rain, but there was no damage. The storm did another zigzag, going west toward the mainland and not even reaching Taichung (“middle city”; Taipei means “north city”). I live north of that, and there were clear skies today.

    The government closed schools as a precaution, but nothing happened. Cripes, I went bike riding today, and the winds barely qualified as a breeze, never mind dangerous. It was a bigger no-show than Harold Camping.


  27. #27 Rob
    August 31, 2011

    I lost power in the Maryland suburbs of DC for almost 48 hours. Tens of thousands more were (are?) without electricity for longer. I had rain for 24 hours, and winds/gusts above 20 mph for at least half that time, mostly from roughly 6 pm on Saturday Aug 27 to 6 am on Sunday.

    Monday and Tuesday were gorgeous and today promises to be nice too. The air was clear and the temperatures cooler than average, and certainly much cooler than earlier in the summer. Mornings have been around 60 here, which I am not complaining about.