Connecticut Gets A 5-1-0 From Hurricane Irene

Right now Irene is going through puberty. Earlier Monday there was a rapid growth spurt. Irene matured and stabilized.

I know you want to read about storms like Irene. My traffic spiked yesterday. It’s OK. I like writing about hurricanes. They are scary. They are fascinating. I know enough to be fearful should a storm strike.

Right now Irene is going through puberty. Earlier Monday there was a rapid growth spurt. Irene matured and stabilized.

Lots of things will affect this storm. Irene’s in warm water which is conducive to growth.

She has a tiny bit of wind shear on the southern side. That will act against growth, but will probably be outweighed by other factors. Because of the shear the growth will be slower.

Interaction with the mountainous Dominican Republic seems minimal.

This is when these storms come to life. Hurricane Irene will get stronger. Satellite images aren’t sharply defined yet. They will be later.

Our impact will come Sunday or Monday.

At Florida State University Dr. Bob Hart’s nifty webpage compares Irene to similarly placed storms in previous years. Since so much of tropical weather is climatology based historical numbers are useful.

We get a 5-1-0. There’s a 5% chance we’ll feel some impact from Irene in Connecticut. There’s a 1% chance we’ll get a hurricane strike and 0% (actually fractionally higher than zero, but rounded there) it would be a major hurricane.

For a tropical system getting to Connecticut is not easy. It has to operate in a narrow lane. If it hits anything on the coast it’s weakened. If it’s too far east it misses land. Other places have more forgiving paths and are hit more often.

I am concerned. I am not panicking. I have done little to prepare at this point, though I’ve been thinking of things we could use.

At work (FoxCT) we are very conscious of your desire to know about Irene and other storms that might concern Connecticut. We get it. I promise we’ll be informative and won’t hype you. Joe is on in the morning, Rachel and I are on at 4, 10 and 11p. We are assisted by Dan Amarante and an excellent newsroom with reporters who care. No one will do more for you. We hope you’ll watch.

24 thoughts on “Connecticut Gets A 5-1-0 From Hurricane Irene”

  1. I checked out the link, and I’m kind of confused. CT is 5-1-0, but Long Island is 3-1-0, Mass is 10-4-0, and RI isn’t on the list? That doesn’t make sense to me. For the most part, wouldn’t a storm heading into CT pass over Long Island first? And I could understand the higher chance in Mass if he’s talking about the Cape being hit – but if he’s looking at a swing in that direction, shouldn’t there be some sort of numbers for RI? Thanks!

    1. Geoff: A reader wants to know how LI has a lower percentage than CT. Good question
      Bob: storms can cut through CT from SW or W overland like bertha 1996. it’s possible that my interpolation is also not fine enough to capture every pixel on LI

      Bob has also added Rhode Island as requested.

  2. Deb,

    I’ve added RI to the web page per your request. You may be disappointed. I can only produce a plot for the first category, since the probability of passage as a hurricane is nearly < 1% for every starting location. Remember that these probabilities are heavily dependent on the area of the state and the length of the historical record. While the track of a typical hurricane will bring it closer to RI more often than CT, RI has an area far less than CT. These probabilities are for actual *center crossing* over the state. It does not account for the impact of a TC passing outside the state, but impacting the state (such as both 1938 and Gloria for RI). Perhaps I should reconsider the definition I use — such that "passing within X miles of the state" counts as a hit?

    For now, the first number of the three on the web page is for passing through the state at any intensity. A 30mph tropical depression or 40mph tropical storm is counted toward that first number if it actually passes through the state. The second number requires passage through the state at a hurricane intensity, which is much more representative of a shoreline-type landfall — but also much more rare.

    Come back in 1,000 years and perhaps the probabilities for small states will be more reliable. 🙂

    Seriously, let me know if you have any more questions — and my apologies to Geoff for hijacking the Q&A.

    Bob Hart

  3. Geoff,

    Isn’t the water temperature here is much cooler than down south. Plus it will be on land mostly. If projected path this early is what it is it should weaken and be a TD. I am not a meteorologist but with my FL hurricane experiences and watching weather there I have some idea.Hopefully it wobbles little farther away and go away and not hit anywhere at all.

  4. So bringing my daughter back to college from Shelton to Keene State on Sunday… I should pack my oars? Not looking forward to that ride and then unloading all her stuff in the pouring rain and wind…. Thanks Irene!

  5. Geoff or Bob — so whats the outlook for say Monday, at work we are having an outdoor event on Monday in Bristol… should I bring sun screen or a canoe 🙂

  6. I believe today’s Hartford Courant print comment of yours is unnecessarily alarmist. You reference the ’55 floods and this storm’s “terrible potential.”
    Now you cite this 5-1-0 figure. I think you have to recognize the possibilities but emphasize the probabilities. Don’t get all worst-case-scenario on us because it adds to the cynicism the public has towards weather forecasters that they’ll say anything to increase viewership or eyeballs on a page.

  7. John, I, for one, would rather be prepared for the “worst-case” than not at all. Many years ago we would have had no clue that a storm would even be on the way. Please give Geoff and other forecasters a break they don’t cause the weather they can only predict what the weather might be. So take heed or don’t knock on my door because you need water or batteries.
    Thanks Geoff for the warnings.

    1. Gammie,

      I’m sorry I gave you the vapors and and you had to flee to the fainting couch. Oh,the audacity to claim that media weather forecasters might exaggerate the worst cases and downplay the odds for ratings and viewership!

      Get well soon 🙂

      1. John – I have been busy all day.If you go back through my blog you will see other comments even more critical of me. They’re not censored and I certainly take responsibility for what I write in the Courant and report on-the-air.

  8. Hey, it worked. Alright, sorry for that, I tried to post something and it didn’t work and now it is, so here is what I tried to say earlier.

    John, I don’t want to speak for Mr. Fox or Mr. Hunt, but the 5-1-0 probabilities are direct hit numbers (the storm’s center passing over us, or where the lowest barometric pressure readings are found). It is very possible, and maybe even likely that extreme flooding could occur while not taking a direct hit. Often times, these storms have the greatest wind and rain potential in the NE quadrant of the cyclone (if I remember right) and although it is not likely we receive two hurricanes that drop 18-20 inches of rain on us in a 7 day period like the ’55 floods; I think what Mr. Fox is saying is that extreme flooding may or will occur depending on the track of the storm. Sorry for speaking for them, but thought it important and sorry for the miss post. Mr. Fox, if you would like to delete the previous post, feel free. Thanks. Oh, and I don’t think there is a gloom and doom exaggeration coming from Mr. Fox and Mr. Hunt, but a realistic view of a dangerous situation with a great amount of impact on property and life possible. Of course, it all depends on the track of the storm and how the jet stream steers this bad boy (or girl – with the name Irene).

    1. I stand by my assertion that Mr. Fox was “over the top” on page 2 of today’s Courant.

      The situation as it went to press overnight was even fuzzier than it is now. To state “this is a storm to be reckoned with,” then reference the ’55 floods and this storms “terrible potential” is hype.

      I’m sorry, I like Geoff and his work with kid’s science programming, but he should be more circumspect when the storm is this far out. The hype makes people ignore warnings, not heed them.

      1. I stand by what I said. As of today the computer models are hinting at 8-10″ of rain over parts of Connecticut. The storms has a terrible potential.

  9. Hey Geoff, It’s 1:58 pm right now. Can you confirm if we had a small earth quake. I felt my sway very very slightly. The Draps was swaying, The stand-up fan was shaking, and I felt a sway in the room. I could swear to it. Very wierd and un-nerving really. Never felt that before.

  10. Like Gammie, I too appreciate knowing all the possibilities. I’m not worried yet, but already thinking of what I will do will all the deck furniture and stuff should it look like we will get Irene. I am keeping Fox on and watching Geoff’s blog – BEST way to be prepared!!

  11. Hey so will it be safe for the first day of school on Monday? And should we worry and go out to buy food for the weekend? Another thing is that I have to go to the mall on Saturday becuase a celebrity is coming. Would it be safe to go? By the way, I like in Bridgeport, CT. Lastly my parents are suppose to be traveling to Lowells, MA tomarrow and will be coming back Sunday around midnight. Are my parents going to be safe traveling there and am I safe staying home in CT? Thanks so much for answering these questions. How can we ever survive without this news updates 😀

    1. Simply put, if you ask me if it’s safe to go or do something I will ALWAYS say it is not. I do not know your abilities. I do not know what equipment your using. These are questions only you can answer and which I cannot take responsibility. I hope you understand.

  12. Ah, Geoff, so nice to find you on line. I’ve always respected your weather opinions so shall bookmark you (the highest compliment that I can pay a website 🙂 obviously) and return here often. I hope all is well with you and yours.

  13. Hey Geoff, You might have to get some sleep while you can As of the 9:00 am report it’s getting to look like at a big impact here so far. I hope everyone here fairs well.

  14. I don’t watch Fox stations (political concerns). But calm, lucid commentary such as yours about the weather, and people’s concerns – particularly that bit about ‘having to hit the corridor just right’ – might induce me to do it anyway. Whoda thunkit?

    1. We are affiliated with Fox, as in Simpsons and American Idol. We are NOT affiliated with Fox News Channel except we share a few of their non-partisan national news reports. You won’t see O’Reilly or Hannity on our air. We are owned and managed by a 100% difference company. We are co-owned with the Hartford Courant.

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