Irene Cat. 3 and Headed This Way…11pm update

 

Infrared Image of Hurricane Irene at 10:45pm EDT 25 Aug 2011

Upper Level Winds Forecast for 8am Friday 26 Aug. 2011

Hurricane Irene remains a dangerous category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph as it leaves the Bahamas and heads northwest with a forecast landfall on the outer banks of North Carolina Saturday afternoon.  The upper level wind pattern, displayed here, shows two troughs of low pressure set to track through the northeastern U.S. Friday and Saturday.  The first trough is deeper and reaches down into the mid Atlantic.  This trough has weakened the high pressure ridge stretching west from the Atlantic, opening a soft spot for Irene to track north.  The second trough is weaker and now looks like it may not reach far enough south to nudge Irene northeast.  With a  weaker secondary trough, Irene is expected to continue north from eastern North Carolina toward Ocean City, MD Saturday night into early Sunday morning.

Irene 72 hour Rainfall Forecast ending 2pm Sunday 28 Aug 2011

Irene Wind Forecast 7am Sunday 28 Aug 2011

If the storm stays on this track, Ocean City may begin to experience hurricane conditions by late Saturday evening with winds of 74 mph or greater, 6-15 inches of storm total rain, and a combined storm surge and tide of 6 to 8 feet above mean sea level.  Eastern shore areas northwest of Ocean City may experience strong tropical storm conditions by late Saturday evening with peak winds of 40-70 mph, 6-10″ of rain, and a combined storm surge and tide of up to 4 feet above mean lower low water.  On the western shore of the bay, including the Baltimore metro area, peak winds of 30-50 mph are possible Saturday night into early Sunday with 3-6″ of rain, and a storm surge of up to 3 feet at times of high tide.

These storm impact estimates are preliminary and may well have to be adjusted as the storm tracks north.  Check back for more updates on this blog throughout the storm.

Tom Tasselmyer

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