Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene Update - 5:35 PM EDT

The center of Irene is about to move back out over open waters, as you can see on the above radar image taken just a moment ago. As of the 5pm EDT National Hurricane Center Advisory, maximum sustained winds were 80 mph, with a minimum central pressure of 28.05 inches of mercury. Irene is moving North/Northeast at 15 mph.

The latest visible, infrared and water vapor satellite images of Irene are shown in sequence below:

Tree and powerline damage has been widespread (as feared) across eastern North Carolina and now southeastern Virginia.  Some of the more significant recent reports from Virginia are highlighted on the image below (click to enlarge):

...and below is a similar image from North Carolina earlier today (additional reports have been received since these, however they are still representative of some of the more significant reports in North Carolina earlier today):

The wind impact outlook that I posted earlier today is still looking on track for this evening and into tonight:

Please keep in mind that the above wind forecasts are for the surface level.  Winds will be even higher above the 20th-25th floor of high rise buildings, by some 20-30%.

I also recently made an impacts post specific to Philadelphia/New York/Long Island.  Please see that post for additional details on threats in that region.

In addition to strong winds downing power lines, trees and causing widespread power outages, the other primary threat from Irene continues to be that of very heavy, flooding rainfall.  Widespread amounts of 6-8 inches with local amounts near one foot can be expected across the region through tonight:

For specific information on mandatory evacuations, and tidal storm surge flooding potential in a given location, please go to this link and select the office nearest you for more information.

Irene is forecast to traverse the remainder of the East coast tonight and into most of Sunday.  The latest official NHC forecast track and watch/warning map is shown below:

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