Hurricane Irene 8 Foot Storm Surge Warnings Issued Across, NC, VA, MD, DE, NJ, NY and MA
8 Foot Storm Surge Warnings Warnings Have Been Extended From North Carolina To Massachusetts As Millions Evacuate The New York Metropolitan Area And NJ Restrict Traffic From Heading Toward The Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant.
A complete overview of the latest Hurricane Irene updates below.
Hurricane Irene has weakened slightly with maximum sustained winds of 100 Miles per hour as the National Hurricane Center Extends Hurricane Watch across New York city, Long Island and Northward all the way up to Boston, Massachusetts. The issuance of the new hurricane watches for the New York City area comes with an an increased storm surge forecast of up to 8 feet in all of the areas along the Jersey Short and in the new areas the warnings have been issued for implemented.
The latest flight data showed a slightly lowered maximum intensity as a trough of dry air seems to be mixing in with the storm. However, the aircraft did find flight level and SFMR winds of 50-55 kt 135 miles east of the center which shows a very large size of the wind field. The latest data shows the core has began to erode, but Irene will be moving over warmer water over the next 12-18. The lack of an inner core how will likely stop it from restrengthening, and while not shown in the official forecast, Irene may weaken to just below hurricane strength before reaching Southern New England.
However, due to its massive size and low pressure it will still have a devastating storm surge effect and the impact will be no different than a stronger, but smaller storm. Storm Surge and extremely heavy rains are still predicted. In New York City, even if Irene hits as a category 1, the upper winds hitting the skyscrapers will be at category 2 speeds. Furthermore, the tall building can act as a wind tunnel which would increase velocity between buildings and cause winds equivalent to a category 3 storm.
Millions of people are being issued mandatory evacuation orders in New Jersey and New York City in areas that government models show are prone to flood with the currently forecasted storm surge levels. Mass Transit services are being stopped and roads are major highways in the area are being either shutdown completely or are being redirected so all lanes flow traffic away from the areas were evacuations have been orders. Those in the New York Tri-State area who haven’t fueled up on gasoline yet are likely to find their gas stations out of gas.
Route 72 in NJ is being redirected and the Garden State Parkway south of exit 98 is also being shut down, in both instances PREVENTING THE FLOW OF TRAFFIC FROM HEADING TOWARD THE OYSTER CREEK NUCLEAR POWER PLANT.
The storm is now 265 miles SSW of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina moving directly north at a speed of 14 miles per hour with a minimum central pressure of 951 MB or 28.08 inches.
Changes is Watches and Warnings:
- The Hurricane Watch has been extended from the North of Sandy Hook, New Jersey all the way to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts, including New York city, Long Island, Long Island Sound, Coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
- A new Tropical Storm Warning has been issued from north of Sagamore Beach up to the mouth of the Merrimack River.
- A new Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from the mouth of the Merrimack River Up To Eastport Maine.
Summary of Watches and Warnings
Hurricane Warnings are in effect for:
- Little River Inlet, North Carolina northward to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts, including the Palmico, Albemarle, and Currituck sounds, the Delaware Bay, and the Chesapeake Bay south of Drum Point, New York City, Long Island, Long Island Sound, Coastal Connecticut, Rhode Island, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Tropical Wtorm warnings are in effect for:
- North of Edisto Beach South Carolina To Little River Inlet.
- Chesapeake Bay from Drum Point Northward to the Tidal Potamac.
- North of Sagamore Beach to the Merrimack River.
Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for:
- North of Edisto Beach, South Carolina to Little River Inlet.
- Merrimack River Up To Eastport Maine.
- A Hurricane Warning means Hurricane Conditions are expected within the warning area. A warning is typically first issued 36 hours in advance of tropical storm force winds which are conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
- A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected in the area within 36 hours.
- A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the area and are issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm force winds.
- A Watch is typically issued 48 hours prior to the expected conditions and often upgraded to a warning 36 hours prior unless conditions change.
Discussion and 48 hour Outlook
Irene is currently moving north at 14 mph and the motion is expected to continue over the next 24 hours. A gradual turn to the north-northeast is expected tonight or early Saturday morning, which keeps it along the forecasted track. The eye of Hurricane Irene approach the coast of North Carolina tonight and pass near or over the North Carolina Coast on Saturday, putting the coast under sustained tropical force winds for well over a 24 hour period. Tropical force winds of 45 to 50 mph are already being detected in several areas along the North and South Carolina coast lines.
Hurricane Irene is a large tropical cyclone forecasted to move over or near the coast of the Mid-Atlantic states on Saturday nigh and move over New England on Sunday.
Reports from the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter indicate the maximum sustained winds are over 100 MPH which makes Irene a category 2 hurricane, with hurricane force winds extending 90 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extending 290 miles.
Southern Portion of the Warning Area: Tropical storm force winds will continue to spread over the southern portion of the areas were hurricane warnings are in effect over the next few hours. Hurricane force winds are expected to reach the warning area over night tonight.
Mid-Atlantic Coast: Tropical storm force winds are expected to begin along the Mid-Atlantic Coast overnight with hurricane conditions expected by Saturday afternoon.
New England: Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach Southern New England Saturday night with Hurricane conditions expected on Sunday .
An extremely dangerous storm surge will rise water levels by as much as 6 to 11 feet above ground level in the in Hurricane Warning area in North Carolina, including in the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.
The storm surge will raise water levels 4 to 8 feet above ground level over the southern portions of Chesapeake Bay, including in tributaries all the way up to Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Storm Surge Values Will Be Very Location Specific.
Irene is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 6 to 10 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches. The heavy amounts of rainfall are forecasted from North Carolina into Southeastern Virginia, Eastern Maryland, Delaware, Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Southeastern New York, Long Island, Western Connecticut, and Western Massachusetts through Monday morning.
These rains could cause widespread flooding and life-threatening flash floods.
Swells generated by Irene are already affecting portions of the coast of the Southeastern United States.
These swells will cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Next Intermediate Advisory…8:00 PM EDT.
Next Complete Advisory…11:00 PM EDT.