Wednesday, August 10, 2005

MEAN IRENE BUILDING STEAM
May surpass Isabel's landfall winds of 105 mph
A major hurricane strike looming for Mid Atlantic?

Irene 1
As the US Navy forecast graphic indicates, Irene is expected to reach hurricane strength by Sunday, and that could be the beginning of a rapid intensification all the way to Category 3. If this happens, it will be the hurricane that came out of nowhere for many people. For most coastal dwellers, it would seem the tropics are quiet, and they are. But Irene may prove to be the ultimate wolf in sheep's skin. Only a depression now, it is off the radar screen for now. Once it couples with an upper level anticyclone off the Southeast Coast this weekend, and the storm will be in 86 F water, we could see explosive intensification that could mean a Category 1 when you went to bed turned into a Cat 3 monster by dawn. With water temperatures at mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at or above 80 F, there is every potential of this storm as a Cat 3 causing similar or greater damage than Isabel IF it follows the same path. The difference between this storm and that one is that nervous property owners and beachgoers alike had a week or more to prepare, hearing about the monstrous Cat 5 Isabel way out in the Atlantic. This time, preparation time will be much shorter. The real rude awakening will come Monday morning, when NHC issues hurricane watches for parts of the Carolinas and southern Chesapeake. And everyone will say, "where did THIS come from."

14 comments:

Mr.B said...

Hello Mr. Foot. Is this true? Cat 3. Do you think it might hit here in myersville. We are moving on the 26th, to greencastle, pa. If we get more property damage we will be in trouble but I will love to see it anyways. Let me know.

Mr. Foot said...

Hello Mr. B, sorry to hear you are leaving MD, but I'm sure you'll be logging back onto FF once you get there?

If Irene follows Isabel path, then expect similar damage as was observed on 9/17-18/03. However, this will all be over with by this time next week..landfall likely on Tuesday or Weds at latest. Unless of course she stalls or curves out unexpectedly.

Other forecasters have been talking about the poss. of Irene reaching 2 or even 3. We wrote off Dennis when he weakened to a 1, only to get back to a 4, so I think baseline 3 with 110 mph winds is quite possible, depsite that it is a depression right now... that is going to change very quickly in next 48 hours.

Also...thanks to EH for the hcane links, I added them to the list you see on the right.

Julee said...

YIPE! I'm one of those people saying "Where did this come from?" I've been hearing her name on the periphery of the news for days now, but nothing spectacular, so I thought she'd be long gone in a few days.
I'm planning a driving trip to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Should I be re-thinking that?

And Welcome Back!

Nbcweatherman said...

Hey Mr.Foot, I am heading to Georgia on Wednesday, so I guess if this Irene heads our way towards the Mid-Atlantic my plan will be delayed possibliy...will keep in check with the forecasts. The weather channel still saying tonight it will not hit US and it will curve out to sea just barely off the coast, if they are wrong they will feel dumb.

Mr. Foot said...

If Irene is going to curve out to sea the window for that is closing fast. Many of the computer models had this curving out to sea days ago, and still she marched west. The cold front coming from the midwest will not get here in time to do a total right turn, so a hit on the coast is getting more likely, then a turn north into the Carolinas, slice through the Chesapeake and out the Delmarva. This will be late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, and it will be Cat 2 or possibly even 3 at landfall (111 mph or greater).

As for plans...Pittsburgh..go ahead, you'll be ahead of the storm no problem. Same for Georgia, unless you are driving there, in which case I recommend an emphatic NOOOO!!! If you are flying on Tues-Weds, prepare for big delays as airports in the Carolinas will have to divert flights or cancel, and this will cause backups up and down the East Coast.

E.H. Boston said...

Mr. Foot:

If you go to weather.gov and see the projected path of Irene, should there be any reason for concern for us living in southern New England.

Irene seems to be jogging merrily towards the Carolinas as a Cat 1 or 2 storm, there wind predictions are always conservative, and then at the last second it decides to forget the landfall and start moving NNW again, making the Mid Atlantic, Philadelphia, New York City, Long Island, and the entire south coast of New England vulernable to Hurricane Irene.

Do you believe that this storm will take this sudden shift to the north and come a knockin' on our door, for the first time is 14 years?

Julee said...

Mr. Foot, thank you for your insight. I might even leave EARLY on Tuesday to be sure.
Hope it misses MD all the same, since I won't be here to protect home and property.
Are you thinking we'll get the full impact?

Mr. Foot said...

The big battleground on if Irene curves will be whether or not the advancing cold front in the west has enough umphf to push Irene out to sea before it can affect much land. If it follows Accuwx's path, then the I-95 corridor and their coasts from Richmond to Boston will feel this storm, however effects should be muted farther north. Though Irene could remain a minimal hurricane and reintensify once off the NJ coast, it is likely to curve NE at some point, whether sooner or later. Is NE at risk, not nearly as much as the MidAtlantic/North Carolina, but you'll probably see some south wind and rain out of this. It's not going to be a repeat of Gloria or 1938, I think more of a cross between Floyd and Isabel.

Mr.B said...

Mr. Foot where ever I go I will always log onto FF. Hopefully we get more snow in greencastle then here. Can I get a percent chance of a hit here? Models keep placing irene all over the map.

Mr.B said...

What is up with all of these news weathermen saying it will probably stay well off the coast? Only channel that said it might be like isabel was channel 9.

Mr. Foot said...

There is a debate going on about how strong the East Atlantic ridge will be driving Irene west, and how much southeast movement the cold front in the midwest will affect the storm, curving it out. Everyone has wanted to curve this thing out almost from the get-go, and here we have what will be a hurricane aiming for NC by Sunday. "Well off the coast" is a relative term... is that 10 miles or 100 miles or 300? I think it will reach the mainland but have already started curving so southern Delmarva gets the greatest impact.

Tom said...

Interesting thoughts.

On my blog (philadelphiaweather.blogspot.com) I think it does the recurve but stays close enough to the coast to give the Outer Banks and the Tidewater some fits.

Foot, I like your blog, keep up the good work!

Mr.B said...

A hard call. Models have this storm from one extreme to the other. The GFDL (RED LINE) is the newest update.

http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200509_model.html

Check it out.

E.H. Boston said...

Not official, but it looks like Irene is going to go out to sea sparing the eastern seaboard afterall. No NC coast strike, Mid Atlantic strike, or a New England strike...looks like Irene will jut east out into the open water in about 5 days.

Mr. Foot: What are the chances of this storm making landfall now. Is this new projected path a political thing, to keep people in the big cities and keep the economy a float, until the last minute?