Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene Day 3

Overnight, the forecast track has been revised to the west. Unless there is another shift, which is possible, this puts Irene arriving Saturday night with a direct hit on the Outer Banks. That means that we will have hurricane force winds along the Neuse River.

Storm surge models have not been officially issued, but early guidance (which is normally cautious) is forecasting major impact in southern Pamlico Sound as well as Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. Again, this very much includes Wild Haggis. Preliminary surge forecast is for 4-8 ft and possibly closer to 5-10 ft. Anything above 8 ft will be problematic for our location's floating docks.

Ironically, our weather has been excellent. Sunny skies and moderate winds. By tomorrow (Fri) afternoon, early bands from Irene will begin to arrive along with stronger winds. By Saturday AM, rain and thunderstorms will have increased. Saturday night, as Irene closes in, torrential rains will accompany the hurricane force winds. Unusually high tides may enhance the effects of storm surge. Being to the west of Irene, her winds will be out of the northern/northwestern quadrant which pushes more water up the Neuse, yet another enhancement to the storm surge.

Timing is everything. If Irene lands during low tide, we will get less water. If she accelerates in forward motion, we get less water. If the Great Lakes trough pushes her just a little bit east, we get less of everything. Or the opposite can happen since even the NHC forecast track is a blend of models and best guesses based on anticipated conditions.

I will keep you posted.

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