Strong sunshine and low humidity makes the weather a dull story. So why not liven it up with a tropical cyclone? As Irene trudges along north of the Greater Antilles, its path into the next few days is unclear, but continues to threaten nearly the entire East Coast. Until then, enjoy the nice late August weather.
Tuesday morning’s low temperatures across the Island were in the 50s. Westhampton’s Gabreski Airport touched 52 and Islip bottomed out at 57. As September approaches, these cool nights will become more commonplace. It also follows the cliche “calm before the storm,” but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. Highs through Wednesday will be around 80. During the afternoon a seabreeze should develop the next couple of days, so humidity may noticeably creep up a bit.
A cold front approaches for Thursday, which brings a chance of thunderstorms in the evening and at night. The front swiftly moves offshore, and that’s when Hurricane Irene becomes the big headline.
THE SKINNY ON IRENE
As of Tuesday morning, Irene was packing winds of 100 mph and affecting the Turks and Caicos and the Southern Bahamian Islands. Its latest forecast path changes and has shifted east with every update since Sunday, courtesy of the National Hurricane Center, who is the go-to agency in these types of situations. They have the official word and coordinate forecasts and Hurricane Hunter missions. Their path from Tuesday morning’s forecast puts a part of Long Island in the cone of uncertainty. It is called such since the margin of error increases greatly with each passing day in the forecast. The outer boundary of the cone putting Nassau County inside on Day 5 (Sunday) is nearly meaningless…for now. Up until the weekend, when Irene’s path is accurately determined, Long Island should remain in the cone. The track itself, especially beyond Day 3, is merely a middle-of-the-road approach.
The computer models continue to paint a picture where the storm pulls a tighter curve to the north and then east through the week. The Hurricane Center has shifted the path eastward enough where even Savannah, Georgia, threatened with the idea of a direct hit around Saturday, is no longer in the “cone” and may escape with, at most, outer rain bands and rough surf. The storm track swings greatly among the computer models, still, but the consensus will be shored up over the next few days.
As of now, it is still unclear if Irene will affect Long Island at all, but becomes increasingly likely in some form with every model run and path update. Preparations should begin soon, should the forecast continue to show it.
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