Monday, August 22, 2011

Latest on Hurricane Irene -- Florida is not out of the woods yet, and why New York City needs to pay careful attenion

Latest from National Hurricane Center on Irene -- Red Means Major Hurricane
Florida Hurricane Season Fun!

The "small storm" that I wrote about yesterday, Irene, has quickly intensified and become a category 1 Hurricane ---and is growing rapidly is size. It is forecast to become a Category 3 - 4 Hurricane by Thursday  (4 is a monster) and will probably move up the Florida Coast just giving up 50  mph winds -- but potentially hitting Charleston South Carolina by Sunday. 

Palm Beach County has a 60% chance of getting Tropical Force winds as of this afternoon. 

Why I need to pay careful attention is that Hurricanes change paths and landfalls. What you need to worry about is the zone of the potential hurricane path.  Variables such as air currents apply, and Irene could still slam into here as a catastrophic Category 3 or 4 storm on Friday, meaning evacuations to a shelter and no power for over a week. I don't think it will happen though, we will just get some messy wind. 

Who will get hit later this week?  The Yellow Area is huge. 
About 20 universities and weather services fun models on these storms based on past data.  The map above shows these tracks that the National Hurricane Center looks at when making predictions. 

No one can tell today who will get hit by Irene, which will be the biggest Hurricane to hit the United States since Hurricane Ike hit in 2008.  The United States has been in the clear for three years -- but luck is set to run out. This is going to be a messy weekend. 

Why New York city needs to be cautious:


Right Now, The Ensemble Calls for a Major Storm Hitting New York by Sunday 

Please, if you live in New York City do not worry yet -- the odds of the above scenario happening are not great. It is too early to tell.  

If you look at the purple lines, they are what is called "the ensemble" of top meteorologists. Irene can take any of the purple paths. The white line is the ensemble average, and has been fairly accurate in recent years. And right now it shows New York City being hit by a major hurricane head - on by Sunday. 

New York City has not been hit head-on by a  hurricane for over 100 years.  New York City gets swiped by Hurricanes which cross Long Island to the East.   But if a Hurricane were to hit New York head on, the damage would be catastrophic. Manhattan Island would be submerged up until Canal Street as the Hurricane's storm tide pushed its way up New York Harbor. Skyscraper Glass would blow out and crash onto the street below. Damage could be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Here is a video on what could happen:

In fact, New York has been listed as one of 5 cities that is due to be hit by a Hurricane and is unprepared for it:  

In 1938, a Category 3 Hurricane smashed into Long Island and New England causing a huge amount of damage. If it were to have hit New York City 60 miles east, the damage would be devastating.  This Hurricane is famous, it is called the Long Island Express and you can read about it here:

Here is a video on the legendary storm from 1938. 

Do not panic!  It is too early to tell. But if I lived in New York City I would certainly figure out how to evacuate if I had to.  Irene needs to be watched, make sure to check out the National Hurricane Center to see latest updates. 

1 comment:

  1. I have my fingers crossed for you, Eddi!

    Please take care, get out of there or crawl into the cellar or something...


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