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August 2011

Irene Update

No time to grab the pictures and stuff this time, but of course everything comes from the NHC.  As of the latest update of the wind probability charts I like a couple of hours ago, this is where we stand odds wise for a few east coast places:

Hurricane Force Winds:

  • NC Coast:  20% to 35% chance depending on where on the coast
  • DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Jersey Shore, NYC, Boston, Maine Coast:  All less than 5% chance
Tropical Storm Force Winds:
  • NC Coast:  70% to 90%+ chance depending on where on the coast
  • Jersey Shore:  40% to 60% chance depending on where on the coast
  • NYC: 45% chance
  • DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia:  40% chance
  • Boston: 35% chance
  • Maine Coast: 20% to 35% chance depending on where on the coast
Of course, winds aren’t the only potential source of trouble for storms like this.  Storm surges and the like can cause a lot of damage, even in areas that do not get hit by the winds.  Those are of course also just the chances of winds in specific spots.  The chance of winds hitting SOMEWHERE is of course much much higher.  It is just a question of where.
And those tropical force storm wind odds are pretty high in ALL of those places, and they are not anything to be sneezed at.
But with the hype building rapidly on the “major city hit by hurricane” front, keep in mind that even though some of the models have things going in that direction, the odds of hurricane force winds in each of those cities is still pretty small.  That may change over the next 24 hours of course.
The exception of course is the NC coast.  We’re already talking about 20% to 35% chance of hurricane force winds.  That’s enough to be quite concerned and doing whatever needs to be done to prepare for a hit.
Having said that, if I was in any of those other areas, I’d still be getting ready for a pretty big storm, as the chances for at least tropical storm force winds is pretty high.  And watching carefully of course, to see how these odds develop.  These things accelerate pretty quickly once they start heading north.