A few days ago a friend wrote and asked about a Hurricane Center “invest” out in the Atlantic. It was a little early to give it more than a cursory glance. Invest 97 became Tropical Storm Irene last night.
Irene is a concern!
Not every storm is an equal threat. For a variety of reasons (mostly climatology) certain locations at certain times of the season produce storms that move toward population centers. Irene has that pedigree.
The map of hurricane models at the top of this entry show they’re in reasonably good agreement over the first few days. That agreement actually adds uncertainty because of the topography of the Dominican Republic.
The D.R. has one mountain 10,000+ feet tall! Hurricanes and mountains don’t get along!
THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS SUBJECT TO MORE THAN THE USUAL LEVEL OF UNCERTAINTY…AS IT DEPENDS VERY MUCH ON HOW IRENE WILL INTERACT WITH THE MOUNTAINOUS LAND MASSES OF HISPANIOLA AND EASTERN CUBA OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. IF THE CENTER MOVES MORE OVER THE WATER THAN INDICATED IN THE CURRENT FORECAST…IRENE WILL LIKELY BECOME STRONGER THAN SHOWN HERE.
Obviously Florida is under-the-gun. So is the rest of the East Coast and to a lesser extent the Gulf of Mexico.
This is a storm I expect to write a lot about.