Tuesday Night Weather and Irene Update

Not much has changed with Irene tonight, except the fact that Irene is increasing with strength at the moment.  Check out the latest Infrared radar...
Eye has developed in last three hours
This has long been expected.  The central pressure in the core of the Hurricane has dropped to 969 mb.  With the warm ocean, both at the surface and at depth, this storm will continue to get stronger.  In fact, Dr. Kerry Emanuel of MIT has a chart that suggests Irene could be as strong as a Category 5 all the way to the Outer Banks.  This won't happen because that map only takes into account oceanic heat content and nothing else.  There are other factors that will hold Irene back from approaching that strength.  That said, I also do not see any reason to change my forecast track.  Unfortunately there is a lot of guidance that suggest the minimal impacts from New England will still be dangerous.  After watching  NECN's Matt Noyes technical discussion tonight, I want to bring up another hazard that may occur with this storm.  I thank Matt for bringing this up because I never would have thought about it before hand.  That's why I follow experience meteorologists, there is a lot to learn  from them.

This hazard is a predecessor rain event.  We often see this in the winter when snowstorms are coming up the coast.  In these cases snow will overspread the area in front of the cyclone (nor'easter  in combination with the trough that is helping to pull the storm north.  In this case it will be rain, heavy tropical rain.  This will fall before the Hurricane/Tropical Storm hits!  Its  likely this will happen whether the storm tracks up the coast or over the water.  I still believe Long Island and New England will take a direct hit from a Hurricane.  However this will just add to flooding concerns.  This event would start Saturday afternoon or Saturday night.  So if indeed Irene surges north, preparations should be complete by early Saturday afternoon.

The models that we're once on the outside of the consensus model track are now coming into line and forecasting a hit from North Carolina to Cape Cod.  I can't stress how significant of an event this could be.  See previous posts for details.  I'll have more on Irene in the early afternoon after the morning computer models put out their data.

The weather for the next few days...warm and partly cloudy tomorrow, thunderstorms on Thursday (more on that tomorrow...maybe), and then warm Friday with increasing tropical air.  Its going to feel like Florida.

Just in...New England officially in the National Hurricane Center 5-day track.

This would be an absolute disaster.  


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