The All Night Show With Irene

Heavy squalls from Hurricane Irene are unfurling from the center like the strings on an edge trimmer.

It’s after midnight and I’m in the Weather Center at work. The evening people I work with on FoxCT are gone. Most of the editors and reporters I know from the Courant have gone too. There are morning people in now. This TV/newspaper complex is an around-the-clock operation.

I’m staring at a radar loop. Heavy squalls from Hurricane Irene are unfurling from the center like the strings on an edge trimmer.

The wind has picked up. Gusts to 32 mph are being reported in Bridgeport. Groton has 29 mph. New Haven’s weather station has stopped reporting. There’s more wind down south closer to the storm.

I went on-the-air at ten and laid out my reasons for changing the forecast. Some are obvious on the satellite image. Others have been brought into sharper focus by the HRRR model, aka the Rapid Refresh.

The Rapid Refresh is an interesting piece in the guidance puzzle because it only covers the next 15 hours, but in 15 minute increments. It was the HRRR that solidified my thinking on the early exit for our rain. In this way Irene is acting more like Gloria!

Now, instead of a storm stronger than Gloria I’m looking for a storm comparable to Gloria. That was still enough to cut power to 660,000 homes and businesses in 1985.

Hurricane Irene is approaching the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Already tides at The Battery, the southern tip of Manhattan, are nearly three feet above tide table heights. It’s low tide now, but I don’t see a let up anytime before high tide. The water level will continue to rise!

Bridgeport’s tide gauge is 14″ above prediction. As with New York Harbor the water in Long Island Sound will continue to rise through high tide. That’s ten hours away.

I’m hoping shore dwellers heed warnings.

I’d like to see Kennedy Airport right now. It’s got to be totally free of airplanes. No one in their right mind would leave an expensive jet on that field with Hurricane Irene coming. When was the last time JFK was empty?

Now we wait. Irene’s impact is continuing to build. It could have been worse.

13 thoughts on “The All Night Show With Irene”

  1. Saw that NHC had shifted the path back to the West again – just like Gloria. Even here in Southeastern New Hampshire, the eastern edge of the “cone” NHC draws on their maps has shifted west by 10 miles leaving communities like Portsmouth, Salisbury, MA etc. outside that cone. we should still see some weather, but we for now have dodged the bullet here – AGAIN.

  2. Geoff – in Deep River we have had a thunderstorm that did not last long. It is raining still at 1:23 a.m. but not very windy. TWChannel has reported quite a few lives taken already by Irene. When we feel the full impact of Irene here in CT? I would like to be able to fall asleep!!!!!!!!!

  3. Thank you, Geoff. And thank you for being there for us which in itself makes it that much easier for us to cope…as always!

  4. Am I seeing the eyewall falling apart? Or is the radar not picking up the right side of the storm?
    Thunder storms came through here (Haddam) but didn’t last long. Rain coming in steady with bursts of heavy downpours. The wind isn’t as bad as I figured it would be at this point, but I’m expecting it will get stronger.
    I remember Gloria – neighbor’s shrubs rolling up the street like tumbleweeds, and the big branch that came off the big tree fell between two houses, not damaging either one. I’m in a different house now, much bigger trees.
    Lesser is better in my book.

  5. It is still pouring sheets of rain here–( West side of Naugatuck)-had a couple of claps of thunder around 11PM, which startled me. Couldn’t decide where to put the cars tonight—hopefully the surrounding trees will remain upright—none of them are on my property (yet).
    I knew that you indicated the station would be on all night, but at 11:30 PM Sat it went to regular programming. I’ll put my battery operated radio near the bed. The one thing that always scares me is the threat of Tornado—how would one know of this, in the middle of the night?

  6. what’s the difference between this storm and a nor’easter in the winter?…they both have similar characteristics…the part i never understood is that tropical storms feed off of warm waters where as winter storms don’t have that yet are just as strong…

  7. Thanks Geoff, for being there… It’s 4:11 here in Seymour. My daughter called to say we lost power. She’s about half a mile away and she’s right. Here at home we’ve lost power too. I hope that’s the extent of our bout with Irene. My thoughts turn to those who will deal with the water issues. It makes the warm muggy house and no warm shower so incredibly trivial. And now I’ll turn off the smartphone. I’ll conserve the battery, and listen to that wind!

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