Friday, August 26, 2011

If the winds go down, 
the problems may go up

8:30 PM 8/26/2011 | Hurricane Warnings are now in effect as of the 5:00 PM EDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center for the following areas shown in red from the North Carolina/South Carolina border to Sandy Hook, NJ, including:
  • The Albemarle, Curritick and Pamlico Sounds;
  • Virginia Beach and Norfolk to Smith Point in the southern Chesapeake Bay;
  • Ocean City, Maryland, the state of Delaware;
  • Maryland counties of Carolina, Talbot, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, Worcester
  • Southern and Central New Jersey 
  • The City of Philadelphia and Delaware County, PA;  
  • The entire Atlantic coast of New York State, including New York City; 
  • Rhode Island and coastal Connecticut and the entire Massachusetts coastline. 
Areas of the coast shown in blue above indicate Tropical Storm or Inland Tropical Storm Warnings, including:
  • The northern Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point and including Cecil County, MD;
  • The entire Baltimore, Washington and Richmond Metro areas;
  • All counties in Eastern Maryland on the Del-Mar-Va peninsula from 
  • Portions of the South Carolina coast.
Our science advisors and professional meteorologists on the team wish to point out that in a large and powerful storm such as this, any decrease in sustained winds actually permits the wind field to expand significantly. Irene's current Tropical Storm-force winds extend outward almost 300 miles.  A rapidly intensifying storm would pull energy toward the center of circulation and create the "buzz saw" effect seen in 1992's Andrew and 1989's Hugo. We don't need the current wind field to get any larger than it's current extent. If the core of strongest winds decrease, the dynamics holding the hurricane and tropical storm force winds begin to unravel. The result is a larger area of the coastline to experience tropical storm force or hurricane force winds even if a hurricane's maximum winds begin to decrease. 

Think of it this way: On the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, will emergency managers be able to tell the difference between 85 mph sustained and 90 mph sustained? They won't and neither would we.  Until we all see a demonstrable easterly component to the track of Irene, it still a bad, bad situation for tens of millions of people. (Advisors Foot, Winstead, Lear, Krichinsky)


saraleecz said...

When is the next update? We are getting mixed messages from the media about downgrading this to just rain in Central MD...SO, what is your take?

ravensbbr said...


just that. eh. :-)

NeedaSnowday said...

<whupped>  Hi gang...  just got home from helping my mom board up and bring home furniture and special items..  the lil get-away is located on a lil island near Blackwater refuge....  Isabel did a hefty amount of damage...  hoping Irene keeps veering east and slowing down!!

Hope everyone is safe this weekend!</whupped>

Tina said...

How fabulous to have a place near Blackwater!!!  I snagged my mom yesterday from Millsboro, DE (about 30 minutes inland from Rehoboth Beach).  Thank GOD I went yesterday... traffic looked like it was a bear today.  She's now parked at my sister's in Eldersburg, MD. 

I've spent the day bouncing between here and Justin's page.  I go from thinking "we're gonna get clob.bered" to "ok, maybe it's not going to be that bad."  I do know we'll be sleeping in the first floor living room tomorrow night and not in our 2nd floor bedroom - too many trees nearby.  Our poor, unsuspecting dog has NO idea what her final walk is gonna be like tomorrow night or first thing Sunday.  Yeesh.

Hopes for everyone to be safe and sound from Gaithersburg!

Andy, Southern York County, PA said...

There seems to be a slight westawrd trend this evening with the storm weakening somewhat.  As the storm weakens the heavy wind shield expands so the impact on our area looks to be a little more significant than anticipated.  When a storm like this stregthens the energy is pulled toward its center, but when it weakens the PAIN is spread out.  Since we were on the western edge of this, the irony is that more pain appears to be coming our way if these model runs verify or the trend holds. 

Elaina-Lee Dill said...

Does anyone know how much rain the Lutherville-Timonium area will get?  I've seen wind forecasts but not much in the way of precip.

Andy, Southern York County, PA said...

My opinion is that 4-8 inches is a good bet.  Convective banding and embedded storms can produce localized totals that are off the charts.  Speed of the storm and severity of embedded storms can never be properly modeled. 

juleew said...


I'll bet you ARE whupped!  Glad your mom is safely tucked away from the gathering storm. 
Still hearing stories of people on the coast who are going to ride out the storm because they stayed for the last one and they were okay.  As if every storm was exactly the same as the previous one! 
Poor rescue workers!

Elaina-Lee Dill said...

I can't remember what storm it was but when people refused to evacuate the fire and police department told them to write on their body their name and next of kin contact info so they could identify their bodies, that got some to leave.  I work with the Fire Department and unfortunatly it seems to be the belief that if you don't head the warning and are unprepared it's not a problem, we'll risk our lives to rescue you.

Jen O said...

I get so frustrated with State College. They are always late with issuing warnings. Only thing we have is Flood Watch...Come one...Issue a TS warning already...Irene shifted west BTW

juleew said...

Bless you for working with the fire department!
I get SO mad at the people who stay for the "thrill" then expect emergency personnel save them from themselves.  UGH!
Please thank everyone with whom you work who will be out in the terrible conditions helping others.

Stefan Mark Stanford said...

Excellent work as always following this storm. Whenever a weather emergency strikes in my area (AA County MD), I turn immediately to Foots Forecast! My greatest belief is always to be prepared for anything life throws at us, and getting the scoop from you always helps to keep me a step ahead of the rest. Thanks for everything! :)

Amy said...

I live in Pasadena about 75-100 feet from Rock Creek, but very close to where it empties into the Chesapeake. Having trouble findng solid info on flooding/ storm surge concern in this area.  Kind of sick of major news focusing so much on NYC.  Any thoughts about potential for flooding is nice.  Seems like most maps have their philadelphia city tag located right over where my house is.

NeedaSnowday said...

Looking like Irene trended a little more to the east... funny, if this were a winter storm we would feel glum!

Tina you cracked me up about the dog!  Got one here who wont get it either! HA!

I attached a couple picts from the ISABEL hurricane...  will post the view picture I took yesterday..  hope it looks the same after this weekend!!

Amy said...

The stripping of the vegetation is what strikes me most.  Never been through a hurricane, but kind of prefering earthquakes at this point.  I'm from CA and those are over in the matter of seconds.  THis waiting business is not fun.

Tina said...


NeedaSnowday said...

Posting pic from yesterday of same view...

NeedaSnowday said...

Tell ya what else was eerie...  when we arrived to investigate the damage.. the absence of SOUND!  No crickets, birds..  totally silent..

juleew said...

Ever been in the eye of a hurricane?  SAME thing.  NO sounds, NO breeze ... just eerie, eerie silence.  Makes you realize what is actually going on around you on any given day.

Sad, sad comparison pix, Needa.  Hoping against hope that this isn't a repeat.