Hurricane Irene has maintained the same intensity overnight with 100 mph sustained around the center. It is a large storm with the hurricane force winds extending 50 miles from the center and the Tropical Storm Force winds reaching out 205 miles.
This makes it a dangerous Category 2 storm with more to go. The storm is passing 50 miles to the north of The Dominican Republic and conditions with light upper level winds are favorable for this to intensify rapidly. The result has the official forecast winds up to 130 mph by Wednesday. That would be Major Hurricane at Category 4 status.
The water levels this morning along the north Dominican Republic are 2-4 feet above normal. The Turks and Caicos Islands along with The Bahamas can expect a storm surge of 9-13 feet. See Hurricanes 101: What is Storm Surge. Rainfall is expected to be up to 10 inches along the path of the storm as well.
The computer models and NHC have shifted the track again farther to the east. This takes Florida out of the direct path, as well as Savannah, Ga. The current projections (see the slide show on the left) have past yesterday’s call of Myrtle Beach, and into North Carolina. Note that the National Hurricane Center has highlighted that research shows an error of 250 with day 4-5 landfall projections of tropical systems. That is why the cone of uncertainty gets wider towards the end.
Note: This may be the first hurricane to hit the US since Ike in 2008.
SUMMARY OF 500 AM EDT…0900 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 105 MI…170 KM SE OF GRAND TURK ISLAND
ABOUT 50 MI…85 KM NE OF PUERTO PLATA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…100 MPH…160 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 295 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…978 MB…28.88 INCHES
Tropical Story Links:
• Tropical Storm Climatology: Origin points mapped out every 10 days of the season
• 2011 Hurricane season forecast and review of 2010
• 2011 Hurricane season video report: Joe Bastardi forecast for more US landfalls
2010 Season Recap:
• Records and individual storm links
• Video of 2010 Season from NOAA
NOTE: 2009 was among the least active in the last two decades (video)
Hurricane Awareness Week Links:
• Hurricane Awareness Week: History of storms 1900-1979
• Hurricane Awareness Week: History of Atlantic storms 1980-2005
• Hurricane Awareness Week: Storm surge highlights oil danger on Louisiana coast
• Hurricane Awareness Week: Inland Flooding
NEW:Satellite Loop Movie: 72 hours of Total Precipitable Water and TRMM
Watches and Warnings:
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…
A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* NORTH COAST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM THE HAITI BORDER
EASTWARD TO CABO ENGANO
* TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS…SOUTHEASTERN AND CENTRAL BAHAMAS
A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* NORTH COAST OF HAITI FROM LE MOLE ST. NICHOLAS EASTWARD TO THE
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC BORDER
* NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* SOUTH COAST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM SANTO DOMINGO EASTWARD
TO CABO ENGANO
* ALL OF HAITI