Hurricane Irene- What's New

NHC track and Current storm info
If possible, the hurricane models continue to show a worst case scenario.  Yeah we are 3-4 days away, but there doesn't seem to be a way to send Irene out to sea.  Irene is forecast to smash the Outer Banks of North Carolina and then hug the Mid-Atlantic coast sending ferocious waves and devastating surge all along the shore.  The storm will then turn Northeast right into southern New England.  The west side of the storm will drop copious amounts of rainfall on areas that are already over saturated.  Mid-Atlantic flooding will be severe there is just no way around that.  New York City is going to be vulnerable to storm surge from Irene.  The south coast of New England is going to be extremely vulnerable to storm surge.

Storm Surge
Irene is a large Hurricane, with a large wind field.  Pressure is low in the storm so she is going to drive a lot of water toward the shore.  The surge will depend on how strong and fast Irene moves north.  If it is a strong Category 3 around the Outer Banks then the surge here in SNE will be damaging.  It is becoming apparent that everywhere from Worcester County and east will see strong winds, sustained at Tropical Storm force (39-73 mph) with gusts to Hurricane force (74 +).  If whatever is left of the eyewall crosses through Central Massachusetts the winds will be stronger.  Area north and northeast of the center will be vulnerable to tornadoes as well.  The fast spinning winds will interact with the land.  The friction will slow the winds down at the surface and turn them, meanwhile winds in the mid layers will remain unaffected.  As a result, tornadoes form due to this "shear".

Prepare your property, even inland, for this Hurricane.  I expect a Category 1 Hurricane to hit Long Island with winds of 85 MPH.  If the storm doesn't quite hug the coast the way the models are indicating then winds of up to 105 will be possible.  The hype for this is justified by uncanny model agreement and relative consistency of a Northeast direct strike.  The Bermuda high is blocking escape out to sea.  If the track does pull to the east at the last minute we will then be vulnerable to 5-10 inches of rain and flooding.  A lose/lose situation is developing.
48hr Precip totals
As long as computer guidance continues to stay consistent, I'll begin to be more specific with timing and impacts starting tomorrow.

Do not forget about today's rain showers and possible thunderstorms tonight.
106 EDT radar
Severe weather indices are enough to support storms today.  Calm before the storm tomorrow, increasing tropical air on Saturday.

I have to disagree with a Hurricane going directly over NYC.  The last time that happened was 1893.  Models have a tendency to kick easy as the event approaches.  I don't want to tell people in the tri-state area not to prepare for the storm, rather I think the potential damage in southern New England is being underplayed.  Matt Noyes of NECN thinks New London, CT is where landfall will occur.  Don't bother watching any of the National Networks (FOX, CNN, etc) for New England impacts.  I've watched all of them and they continue to ignore New England.  Even if the storm does hit NYC Southern New England will get slapped with high winds storm surge and tornadoes.  Stick to the local networks or here at New England Weather.


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