Monday, August 22, 2011

Hurricane Irene -- Monday AM Update

Hurricane Irene is strengthening this morning as it pulls away from Puerto Rico. It appears the storm will brush past the Dominican Republic and Haiti over the next day. As the center of the storm tracks just to the north of Hispaniola, it will not likely be impacted by the mountainous terrain of that island. Often when storms track directly over Hispaniola, they weaken. This is not likely to happen with Irene. With the storm staying just north of the island, it is expected to maintain its strength or continue to strengthen.

As the storm tracks over the Bahamas and just east of Florida, conditions may be favorable for rapid strengthening from mid to late week. This morning's forecast from the National Hurricane Center has Irene as a strong category 2 storm by the end of the week. That is a conservative forecast, and Irene could certainly be stronger. Coastal residents should always prepare for a storm that is at least one category stronger than forecast.

It is still much too early to make a call on an exact location for landfall for the storm in the southeastern US. A look at the computer models posted below shows uncertainty from Florida to here in North Carolina.

It does appear the storm could make landfall somewhere from Florida to the Outer Banks. Even if Irene makes landfall around Georgia or southern South Carolina, the remnants of the storm could still track over North Carolina this weekend.

A lot could and likely will change with Irene's forecast over the coming days. There is still plenty of time to monitor the latest forecasts. Everyone in the Carolinas should have their preparedness plan and be ready to act later this week if necessary.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and for updates. You can tune in for our tropical updates at :21 and :51 after the hour.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist


Anonymous said...

I am sick of meteorologists saying we are getting a hurricane when they know we are not going to get anything at all. They intentionally lie and get everyone all worked up so they can increases ratings. This is why so many people get killed when a storm like Katrina happens. There are so many false alarms that people stop listening and don't take you seriously any more. You are the reason so many died in hurricane Katrina. Stop getting people all worked up for nothing and start playing things way down until you know for sure we are getting something.

Lee Ringer said...


A hurricane has already lashed Puerto Rico and parts of the Dominican Republic this week. That is Hurricane Irene as discussed in this post. The storm is tracking toward the southeastern U.S. All week long meteorologists from the National Weather Service to the local media have forecast the potential for this to impact parts of the United States. Every forecast you have seen on News 14 Carolina and most other public forecasts has expressed the uncertainty of the situation.

Meteorologists are the reason why more people did not die during Hurricane Katrina. Advanced warnings and accurate forecasts led many people to evacuate New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf coast. Had people ignored those warnings, the death toll would have much greater.