First this is a HUGE storm, I expect significant impacts as far west as New York State and all 6 New England States. TRACK: Still like my track. Landfall Noon Sunday coastal Rhode Island. Track near Providence, Boston, Portland, August Maine. It's center arrives in central Maine Monday morning around 2AM still as a hurricane! INTENSITY- Strong 3 now, expect to be a strong 4 or weak Cat 5 ( out of 5) by the Outer Banks. At landfall still expect winds upwards of 120 mph, by Central Maine down to 80 MPH
Obviously heavy rains and strong winds will cause a lot of downed trees, limbs and damage to the tree canopies, particularty along and EAST of the track. The western side of the storm will be weaker, especially more than 50 miles WEST of the center. Significant damage still expected as far as 150 - 200 miles EITHER SIDE of the track.
I really hope I am wrong about this. Please everyone on the east coast from NC north take this storm seriously. It is rapidly intensifying today. Better to be safe than sorry. This is not going to be a Bob or Gloria. This is more like CArrol & Edna in 1954, the hurricane of 44 and the Great hurricane of 1938. Most likely this will be a top 5 storm as there is no land in it's path to weaken the storm b4 Landfall and the Gulf stream is abnormally warm to hod the storms intensity. Best of luck to all. Updates will continue as needed.
Moderators- thank you for allowing me to post this even if it is off topic. I take my forecasts very seriously and feel strongly on this. Tony
Thanks for your confidence and compliments. I try hard to give the best I can every time. Here's the deal with the local meteorologists. Most in the industry use the NHC (national hurricane center) forecasts because they are the official authority and most forecasters don't have the knowledge to challenge them. The problem with NHC is they are reactive - for example they only forecast an increase in intensity if the storm has strengthened. they also use a ton for forecast models and basically use the consensus of them. While I cannot take all the credit for the hurricane forecasts i happen to have a friend who is an expert hurricane forecaster I have known since 98. He gives me a heads up on what is going on. I worked with this guy and know his skills and learned from his so i look at the same things he does. That gives me a heads up. So watch the tv meteorologist play this up over the next day or 2 as the NHC catches on. my friend has been ahead of this storm by a few days and every 6 hrs when they update come more and more in line with his idea, and mine. So I have help, can't take all the credit.
But what I write is truly what I believe will happen and lets face it, an extra day or two warning makes a big difference. I seriously hope I am wrong about this storm. Frankly it scares me being here on the coast. Rest assured I will update as needed. I would rather forecast high and end up low then the other way around. This is one of those cases I would love to be wrong, but I don't think I am. Please be careful Abby as the storm will pass very near you and I.
Another factor is the shape of the high. While we look at the surface the most becuase we live here, (except us space shots! LOL) the steering currents are way up around 30-40,000 feet. If you look at that level, the high to east looks square for this storm. It has a definite North south component, and to boot, the bermuda high is displaced north to our latitude. there is little eastward component so with nothing to force the storm east, she should come right up the coast. The best we can hope for is the storm moves even farther west than I have it. While this would be devastating to NYC and worse for VT/Western MA/CT it would spare us the worst on the coast. As they say the devil is in the details. Last few hours the structure of Irene continues to improve. So while NHC hasn't upped it's strength because there is not an airplane in there right now, she has likely strengthened further.
Well that's my thoughts in a nutshell without getting to scientific. There are more technical reasons but nobody would understand that in this forum, well except IXL. People feel free to ask questions.
BTW Dylan Dryer on CH 7 this morning was asking people to take this storm serious too. If anyone is interested my hurricane friend Joe Bastardi will be on the OReilley factor tonight at 8 &11pm EDT on Foxnews. He was my mentor at Accuweather (he now works at weatherbell analytics) and who gives me inside info! He was on Foxbusiness twice today. Good guy, stubborn as hell and hates to lose!
With all the damage that's sure to occur, it's cold-hearted to ask a foliage question. But here goes anyway. Will the Vermont forests, with strength in sheer numbers of trees, provide at least some protection from the winds?
Irene update: 11:00 NHC shows no change in strength as an eyewall replacement cycle is going on. this will temper her for the next 6-12 hours but still expect more strengthening tomorrow. Personally I like the NHC track. Arrival of the center near noon Sunday CT/RI border, passing just west of Boston into Central Maine by early Monday morning. Still disagree with strength. NHC has her arriving with 85 mph winds. Definitely agree with JB, more like at 120 mph. I think we will see that number come up from NHC tomorrow. Water is abnormally warm, and no land to stop it don't see why it will weaken like NHC.
BTW Look off Africa! that will be Jose. Probably already a depression, again NHC a little slow. Jose would not follow Irene more likely into the Gulf of Mexico.
For those of us in Eastern New England, the shift west is a blessing as the storm will weaken more as she comes north from interaction with land. This is terrible news for NYC however. Southern New England and southern Vermont can still expect winds to gust in Excess of 80 mph. Northern New England wind gusts to 60 mph. The heaviest of rainfall will now be over Western VT and NY State. For most of New England this shift is very favorable for less destruction. However NYC is more likely to get devastated by a storm surge being funneled up Long Island Sound. Updates as needed. Feel free to ask questions.
IRENE UPDATE. Global guidance is in from this morning. The us model remains right of the NHC track. The European remains west of NHC, but has shifted a bit east. Basically like NHC track. A bit farther west than was thinking last night, but not as far west as JB. Once this storms gets north of NYC the High pressure in the Atlantic is maxed out and loses it's grip on Irene. This will allow the storm to begin to translate East. This is terrible scenerio for NYC. Down there this storm could rival the great hurricane of 1821, which had a very similar track. So basically expecting a track from Hatteras, off Sandy Hook NJ,. over or just East of NYC to Litttleton NH. This keeps VT on the western weaker side, which the bigger problem will be 8-10 inches of rain, plus gusty winds to 80 MPH south and 60MPH North. Coastal New England will have serious issues at the 8-9pm High Tide Sunday night with a storm surge. East of the track will have less winds and stronger rains.
While the track will change slightly remember the core of this storm will be 300 miles wide so even a shift of 50 miles will not make a huge difference in the actual weather. Lots of water and wind. Worst of the storm will be on 25 miles either side of the track. Will update as needed, and always feel free to ask questions!
Irene update: No changes to my forecast. Pressures are falling in Irene and the storm is organizing so look for strength increases at 5 am and 11 am updates. She has made the turn to the north slightly ahead of schedule. Model Tracks shifted back Eastward slighly, so I still like my track and NHC's passing Just east of NYC into CT then up the Connecticut River Valley. I continue to lie East of JB he has Burlington VT I have Littleton NH. Think she comes ashore as a cat 2 storm with winds of 100 mph. 80 mph southern VT 60 mph Whites and Greens. Biggest threat for VT will be rain, and a lot of it around 8 inches on average. Will update as needed! Thanks for reading!
Personally I'm headed to DC, then to MD, Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay next weekend for a wedding right on the beach. Hope the venue is still standing. We had considered renting a house on the beach for a week down there...would have been arriving on Monday if we'd done that. Can't begin to tell you how thankful I am we decided against it.