TRACKING HURRICANE IRENE:

By: ncforecaster , 5:35 AM GMT on August 21, 2011

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Hey everyone,

As was the case during previous hurricane (H) seasons, I am once again posting a blog entry that contains the majority of weather links and pertinent data that I typically use myself-for the purpose of TC forecasting. It is not an all exclusive list, but one that I feel will best serve those who take the time to read/use this particular blog entry.

As many of you already know, I just simply haven't had the time to blog here as consistently as I once did. That being said, I will make an asserted effort to post occasionally (as time permits) when the U.S. coastline is threatened by a significant TC event. In the meantime, I want to wish each one of you the very best and hope you have a great rest of the weekend.:)

Most sincerely,
Tony

P.S. Any and all prospective forecasts I make will be contained in the comment section of this particular blog.

American Red Cross "Hurricane" Preparedness Website.

SPECIAL SECTION: MOST SIGNIFICANT THREAT TO LAND AREAS (ATLANTIC BASIN):



The above "image" is the latest Infrared (IR) Satellite Image of H Irene (Courtesy of SSD/NOAA).





The above "image" is the latest "Visible" Satellite Image of H Irene.



NHC Advisories and Forecast Discussions:

Latest NHC Public Advisory.

Latest NHC Forecast Discussion.

Latest HPC "Extended" Forecast Discussion.

Latest RECON and Buoy Observations:

Latest NOAA Recon "Vortex" Data message

"Live" Recon Data Decoder (Courtesy of "Tropical Atlantic").

Latest Buoy and Ship Observations (Courtesy of NDBC)



The above image contains the 120 hour forecast tracks of the major global computer models-courtesy of WU. If this image doesn't update automatically at 6 hour intervals, you can access the updated and most recent graphic here.

Latest NWS Local Hurricane Statements:

Note: I removed the Puerto Rico "local hurricane statement" (LHS) link, since hurricane Irene has moved well away from the Island. That being said, I will continue to modify this blog accordingly, as additional LHS' are warranted for other threatened localities.

SPECIAL STORM EVENT PRODUCTS FOR MOST THREATENED LOCALITIES:

This section was last updated at 1:55 am EDT on 8/23/11.

Local Radars:

Note: I have removed the local radar links for the Islands of Martinique and Puerto Rico, since "Irene" has moved well out of radar range of those two respective locations. As soon as H Irene moves within radar range of other local radar sites, I will post those links accordingly.

Area Webcams:

Note: I have removed the webcam links for the NE Carribean Islands that got battered by TS Irene. That being said, I will also update this section as well, as soon as I am able to do so.



The above "image" is the latest "water vapor" satellite image of the entire North Atlantic Basin. See links below (in next section) to view the current WV "loop".

H IRENE SATELLITE LOOPS (Courtesy of SSD/NOAA):

A) Latest "Visible" Satellite Loop
B) Latest "Infrared" Satellite Loop
C) Latest "Water Vapor" Satellite Loop
D) Latest "Dvorak IR" Satellite Loop
E) Latest Close-Up "Water Vapor" Satellite Loop

SECTION #1: TROPICAL CYCLOGENESIS FORECASTS/ANALYSIS:

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN IDENTIFYING A TC.



TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK "TEXT" (NHC)

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION (NHC)


The Above Graphic is the 48 hour Forecasted "Surface" map for the Atlantic Basin (courtesy of NHC).

OPC "Current" Atlantic Basin Surface Analysis



The latest "Wide View" Satellite Image of the Atlantic Basin (Courtesy of SSD/NOAA). Also, here is the latest "Visible" Satellite Loop as well.

The latest Satellite Loops can be found here (It is best to use the respective "Floaters" for analyzing specific invests and/or TC's).



This image shows the latest IR 200 MB Velocity Potential Anomalies. Here is the link to other "MJO" resources courtesy of the CPC.

RAMMB "Real Time" Storm Data

Navy (NRL) Tropical Page

The Latest "Quickscat" Satellite Data.

Latest Dvorak Intensity Estimates (Courtesy of Satellite Services Division)

Latest ADT (Advanced Dvorak Technique) Estimate (Courtesy of CIMSS)

TC Phase Analysis (Courtesy of FSU).

MIMIC (Microwave Satellite Imagery) Courtesy of CIMSS



This is the latest Map designating "favorable" areas for TC development in the Atlantic Basin (Courtesy of PSU). Also, here is the link to PSU Tropical Weather Page that also includes the GFS "Long Range Model" forecasts, etc.

SECTION #2: THE LATEST COMPUTER FORECAST MODEL TRACK GUIDANCE:

Latest Major Global Computer Model Track Guidance (Courtesy of FSU).

South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Model graphics

Latest NHC TC Model Output Graphics (Track and Intensity forecasts) Courtesy of FSU.

TC Track and Intensity Model Plots (Courtesy of MIT)

Raleighwx Global Model Page (Courtesy of A. Huffman/Americanwx).

The "Weather Underground" Tropical Weather Page (includes excellent computer model graphics for respective TC's, etc.)

TC Model Guidance Courtesy of CSU.

SECTION #3: ENVIRONMENTAL/ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS (ATLANTIC BASIN):

A) Wind Shear/Upper Level Wind Maps:



The above "wind shear" map displays current conditions (Courtesy of "CIMSS)

NOAA SSD "Current" Wind Shear Map

GFS 72 Hour Wind Shear Forecast (Courtesy of WU)

NAVY Wind Shear Forecasts For the NOGAPS and GFS Models.

Saharan Air Layer Map (Courtesy of CIMSS)

TC Mean Steering Layer Maps (courtesy of CIMSS)

Upper Level Conditions (includes UL winds, vorticity, divergence, convergence, wind shear, etc. all courtesy of CIMSS)

OPC 500 MB Forecast Maps

Unisey's UL Wind Data

B) Sea Surface Temperatures:



The two images displayed above reflect the SST's and SST anomalies for the Atlantic Basin through the past week. (Courtesy of the CPC).



This is the "latest" NOAA TC Heat Potential (TCHP) Map. Also, here is the link to other important SST data from the same site.

NOAA SST MAP

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19. ncforecaster
4:44 AM GMT on September 01, 2011
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Nice blog, Tony. Have been away a couple of days. Hope all is well with you up there. :)


Hi TX,

Thank you for taking the time to post, and for the very thoughtful comments, as well!:)

I am praying you get some beneficial rains out there in TX. very soon. I have a good friend who lives in Fort Worth and he says the drought and oppressive heat has been awful this summer. Maybe a weak tropical system can make its way through the state before the season comes to a close.

Thanks again, and I will look forward to talking with you again very soon!:)

Most sincerely,
Tony
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1369
18. ncforecaster
4:34 AM GMT on September 01, 2011
Quoting petewxwatcher:
I have a question. Irene made landfall as a 951 mb hurricane, and has deepened to 950 mb now hours after landfall.

Which pressure will be used in the official records?

Irene is the deepest Cat 1 to hit the USA on record either way in HURDAT.


Hi Pete,

Thank you for taking the time to post!:) I apologize that I have only now found time to respond to your question. I had traveled up to the Outer Banks in order to intercept the storm, and have been extremely busy since my return.

It is highly likely that the 950 mb pressure will be used in HURDAT. It was obtained from a dropsounde and constitutes an actual measurement, as opposed to an estimated value.

Thanks again for the post and asking an excellent question. I hope you have a great Thursday!:)

Most sincerely,
Tony
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1369
17. ncforecaster
1:27 AM GMT on September 01, 2011
Quoting sandiquiz:
Hi Tony - Hope you and your family survived lady Irene .... and the one about to be labelled Katia turns north and doesn't come your way as well:(


Hi Sandi,

Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts and posting such thoughtful comments while I was away from the blogs, the past few days.

Although I had intended to post every single day preceeding hurricane Irene's anticipated landfall on the U.S., I found it very difficult to do so, with all of the additional responsibilities that corresponded to being in the general area of anticipated landfall.

With that in mind, I want to apologize for not being able to reply to each one of your very thoughtful posts, until now.

I worked outside in tropical storm-force conditions until very late on Friday, here in Wilmington. As a result, I had to make a mad dash up the coast in hopes of intercepting "Irene" in the Outer Banks. Fortunately, I was able to get to the eastern-most portion of Morehead City (at the state port there) by 545 am EDT on Saturday morning.

I would film a storm surge that flooded the area more than four blocks inland, and wind gusts in the 80-90 mph range. I also drove to New Bern later that morning and filmed from there throughout the afternoon hours. New Bern also experienced hurricane-force wind gusts and significant flooding from both storm surge and the heavy rains.

Thanks again for all of your thoughtfulness, and I will look forward to talking with you again very soon!:)

Your friend,
Tony
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1369
16. ncforecaster
1:11 AM GMT on September 01, 2011
Quoting carolinagal:
Thanks for the blog. I'm sure you are prepared. Take care.


Hi Carolinagal,

Thank you so much for the very thoughtful post, and the very kind words, as well!:)

I am so glad that you didn't incur too much damage down there in S.C., and feel quite fortunate that we didn't get too much significant damage here in the Wilmington, N.C. area, ourselves.

That being said, the same can't be said for portions of the Outer Banks of N.C. where I intercepted the storm. I pray for all those who suffered loss-whether it be material or the loss of a friend or loved one-and wish them as speedy a recovery as is possible.

Thanks again for the post, and I will look forward to talking with you again very soon!:)

Most sincerely,
Tony
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1369
15. ncforecaster
12:58 AM GMT on September 01, 2011
Quoting quasigeostropic:
Tony, stay safe if Irene comes your way! God bless!


Hey Alec,

It is always good to see you, so to speak!:) I greatly appreciate your thoughtful sentiments, and will make an asserted effort to catch up with you soon, on Facebook.

I hope all is going well in your life, and I hope you have a great rest of the night!:)

Your friend,
Tony
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1369
14. ncforecaster
12:53 AM GMT on September 01, 2011
Quoting shoreacres:
So good to see your post. Appreciate the time you've put into it. Never mind the spelling and grammar. You're going to have a few other things to do over the next days. Best wishes!


Hi Shoreacres,

Thank you so much for taking the time to post and for the very kind words, as well!:)

I stayed so busy with work that I didn't have time to post during the last couple of days preceeding Irene's landfall here in N.C.

Fortunately, I was able to make a last minute dash up the coast to intercept Irene in the eastern-most portion of Morehead City-at the state ports, there.

Thanks again for your thoughtful post, and I will look forward to talking with you again soon!:)

Most sincerely,
Tony

Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1369
13. sandiquiz
11:45 AM GMT on August 30, 2011
Hi Tony - Hope you and your family survived lady Irene .... and the one about to be labelled Katia turns north and doesn't come your way as well:(
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 26215
12. AtHomeInTX
6:26 PM GMT on August 27, 2011
Nice blog, Tony. Have been away a couple of days. Hope all is well with you up there. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 160
11. petewxwatcher
6:20 PM GMT on August 27, 2011
I have a question. Irene made landfall as a 951 mb hurricane, and has deepened to 950 mb now hours after landfall.

Which pressure will be used in the official records?

Irene is the deepest Cat 1 to hit the USA on record either way in HURDAT.
Member Since: March 24, 2011 Posts: 3 Comments: 392
10. sandiquiz
7:41 AM GMT on August 27, 2011
Hope today goes OK - and Irene is not as bad as you and others have predicted.... TAKE CARE :)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 26215
9. sandiquiz
1:30 PM GMT on August 25, 2011
You have not been around for a couple of days - I hope you are getting prepared to keep your lovely little family safe.....

Good luck, Take care:)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 26215
8. carolinagal
1:13 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Thanks for the blog. I'm sure you are prepared. Take care.
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 6794
7. quasigeostropic
1:09 PM GMT on August 23, 2011
Tony, stay safe if Irene comes your way! God bless!
Member Since: November 20, 2007 Posts: 21 Comments: 192
6. shoreacres
10:55 AM GMT on August 23, 2011
So good to see your post. Appreciate the time you've put into it. Never mind the spelling and grammar. You're going to have a few other things to do over the next days. Best wishes!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
5. ncforecaster
7:18 AM GMT on August 23, 2011
Hey Sandi!:) It is always a blessing to get a post from you, and I very much appreciate the kind words, as usual.

You are absolutely right-I am not, and have not been getting enough sleep...lol. Unfortunately, I am staying so busy with work and other responsibilities, that I also have not had much time to devote to the blogs, either.

I hope you are doing very well yourself.

Thanks again for the thoughtful post, and I will look forward to talking with you again very soon!:)

Your friend,
Tony
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1369
4. ncforecaster
6:58 AM GMT on August 23, 2011
Updated Forecast (2:30 am EDT/8-23-11):

Unlike the previous forecast I provided last night, I only had enough time tonight (very early this morning) to very quickly update the blog itself.

As a result, I am just simply going to provide my latest expectation for a prospective U.S. landfall and intensity.

At the current time, I anticipate a possible U.S. landfall somewhere between Hilton Head, S.C. and Cape Hatteras, N.C. (likely closer to Cape Hatteras than Hilton Head), at a similar intensity as I mentioned last night. I would be most remiss if I didn't note that it is still quite conceivable that H Irene ultimately turns far enough N and E, that she passes offshore of the N.C. Outer Banks.

Good night everyone!:)

Tony
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1369
3. sandiquiz
6:49 AM GMT on August 23, 2011
Hi Tony:)

Thanks for all the information - I can see you will not get much sleep the next four or five days as this lady is heading straight for you.

Hope she wobbles north and you get the winds and rain but not the storm!

Take care, and get some sleep!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 26215
2. ncforecaster
9:50 AM GMT on August 22, 2011
Tropical Storm Irene; Where will she go from here and how strong will she be?

1) Current position and intensity:

As of 3:55 am EDT on August 22, 2011, TS Irene is located inland in Puerto Rico-roughly 15-20 miles WSW of San Juan-containing a MSW of 70 mph. At last report, she was moving on a general WNW trajectory at around 12 mph.

2) My best educated guess for its future track and intensity:

Since it is so late (very early for some people), I will keep this very brief. Here are a few important factors we must consider:

a) The Upper Level Pattern:

Since all tropical cyclones (TC) are steered by rivers of air in the upper levels of the atmosphere, an accurate forecast will hinge greatly on how well we are able to prognosticate the changes in the "pattern."

At the current time, TS Irene is being steered by the easterlies along the southern side of a large area of high pressure-known as a subtropical ridge. Since an area of low pressure, such as TS Irene, can't move through this blocking area of high pressure, it must move around it. It is also important to note that all TCs want to inherently move towards a northerly trajectory as soon as the upper level atmosphere or pattern allows them to do so.

That being said, there is a trough that will be moving through the eastern U.S. during the next couple of days that will very likely create a weakness or break in the aforementioned blocking ridge. This should provide the opening that TS Irene seeks in order to turn more towards the north.

The key to the track forecast lies in the details as to just how much of a weakness will be available when TS Irene arrives, and exactly where this corridor will ultimately present itself.

b) Watch the "Wobbles":

As we have already seen with TS Irene as it moved through the northern Leeward Islands and wobbled NW-ward onto the Island of Puerto Rico, TCs don't generally move in a straight-line, but have a tendency to wobble along within the "rivers of air" that guide them.

Consequently, a couple unexpected wobbles either N or S as Irene moves towards Hispaniola could have a very significant impact on its future track and intensity. The same principle also applies to the "wobbles" that will likely take place as Irene moves through the aforementioned corridor somewhere near the east coast of Florida, by the latter part of the week. These wobbles could be the difference between a landfall along the Florida east coast and a path that takes it just offshore of Cape Hatteras, N.C.-based on the angle of approach and the shape of the SE coastline.

c) Land Interaction:

TS Irenes' future intensity could significantly be affected by a course that might take it over the very mountainous terrain of Hispaniola. There have been many cases where a strong tropical cyclone was never able to fully recover from its interaction with the mountains of Hispaniola.

That being said, TS Irenes' wobbles to the NW late last night appear to have made it likely that she will not be too severely disrupted by any subsequent impact with the Island of Hispaniola, as once might have been the case. It is also conceivable that she could still "wobble" just far enough N that she passes just offshore, to the north of the Island.

In Summary:

Wow! It is now almost 445 am EDT, and I had yet to spend any real time discussing the upper level weather pattern that will play a huge role in TS Irenes' ultimate landfall intensity, in the U.S. Simply put, she will remain in a very favorable atmospheric and oceanic environment consisting of very light wind shear, very warm waters, high oceanic heat content, and a well-defined anticyclone above.

Based on all of the aforementioned, I would place the highest probability of landfall-at this time-along the southeast coast of the U.S. somewhere between Melbourne, Fl. and Cape Lookout, N.C.

Based on the possible interaction with the northern portions of Hispaniola, I am not quite as confident in a prospective landfalling intensity forecast for the U.S. That being said, I am inclined to expect a landfall of at least category two intensity, and at least a 50% probability that Irene will achieve a category three or higher landfall (although, I don't anticipate a system stronger than H Hugo of 1989).

Well. I am off to bed for a couple of hours, at least. As always, I want to thank you for taking the time to read and/or post in my blog, and I hope each one of you have a great rest of the day!:)

Most sincerely,
Tony

P.S. I'm way too-tired to proofread this post tonight, and apologize for any and all possible typos and/or grammatical errors.
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1369
1. ncforecaster
5:50 AM GMT on August 21, 2011
Hey everyone,

It has taken me quite some time to put this particular blog together. Consequently, I haven't had time, as of yet, to analyze the various data, in order to provide my own forecast for TS Irene.

I will likely be very busy throughout the day tomorrow, but will try to find time to update the blog at some point during the late evening hours.

In the meantime, I want to wish each one of you a very safe and wonderful rest of the weekend!:)

Most sincerely,
Tony
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1369

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