Weaker Irene Heads North

Irens Vis Satellite 10:15am 27 Aug 2011

RPM Forecast 7am 28 Aug 2011

Irene made landfall on near Cape Lookout, NC around 7:30 a.m. as a category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.  Interaction with the land areas of eastern North Carolina and southern Virginia should prevent Irene from strengthening, and it may even weaken further as it moves toward Maryland’s lower eastern shore this afternoon.  The storm has been moving north/northeast at 15 mph a little west of the earlier forecast track, but our in-house RPM model slows the storm a bit and turns it northeast.  The RPM has the storm near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay by 11:30 p.m. and just southeast of Ocean City by dawn on Sunday.  If the storm continues to track farther inland, storm surge becomes a bigger threat, however, as of the 11am update, the storm surge is expected to be 1-3 feet around the bay and 3-6 feet on the Atlantic coast.  Additional storm surge guidance can be found here:  National Weather Service Storm Surge Guidance.

The RPM is producing 2-6″ of rain west of the bay and 6-12″ for much of the eastern shore with the potential for more than 12″ of rain in spots.

Winds will be increasing as the storm approaches tonight, with gusts to 50 mph possible west of the bay, up to 70 mph gusts on the eastern shore, and gusts to 85 mph are possible on the Atlantic coast.  Irene should be pulling away from the region Sunday afternoon.

Check back for more updates as the storm moves in this evening.

Tom Tasselmyer


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