Irene Track Shifts East

Model guidance on Hurricane Irene continues an eastward step. Seeing Irene tank into the Gulf of Mexico is out of the question, and very little chance of Irene’s landfall in Florida.

Florida will still receive a grazing blow including higher waves and rounds of thunderstorms. Florida is one out of many states that will experience Irene’s wrath. Most of these states will be along the east coast including the Carolinas which could experience the landfall. When I mention ‘landfall’ I mean where the eye wall/eye/center will hit land.

One of the largest feeders of hurricanes is warm water. The Gulf of Mexico is known to be a harbor of warm water, and thus a perfect assembly line to fuel a strong hurricane. Irene will still interact with some warmer waters along the east coast which could boost things up to a Cat 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale before landfall.

Saffir-Simpson Scale

At 5pm EDT Irene was a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, down from Category 2 Monday night/Tues morning.

Hurricane Irene path as of Tuesday afternoon.

I mentioned the possibility for strength to reach Category 4 strength, but it will be interesting to see how this actually pans out. The Bahama waters are fairly warm with all the dotted islands, so that factor will be there. Denoted on the map above with a bold ‘M’, Irene is expected to become a Major Hurricane (Category 3 or higher) in just over 12 hours. So far an eye feature has been hidden or not fully developed, but that could change once strengthening resumes and open waters are reached.

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About gweatherc
Live in Michigan and enjoy observing the weather. Want to pursue it as a career! Currently taking classes at Central Michigan University.

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