Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Jersey, New York City, Long Island to See Major Impacts from Irene

***This post was replaced by an updated post on 8/27/11.  Please go to the new post for the latest information.

-----------------------------------Original post from 8/25/11:

I know that "official" hurricane warnings are not in effect for the region at this time, but I want to emphasize that Hurricane Irene is a very large, dangerous storm.  If the various computer model scenarios that are playing out come to pass, a very significant threat will exist across New Jersey, New York City and Long Island, with respect to both wind damage and storm surge, late Saturday night and into Sunday.

I won't be quite as specific in this post as I have been in a few others this evening, mainly because I want to evaluate additional data tonight and Friday.  With that said, the scenario shown on the GFS computer model image below, valid 8am EDT on Sunday morning, would result in a large amount of water being pushed up Long Island Sound and New York Harbor, into the East River:

...and that would only be the beginning.  This image, valid at 11am EDT Sunday depicts 70-80 mph sustained surface winds in New York City (keep in mind that winds at the upper stories of skyscrapers would be even higher), as well as most of New Jersey and Long Island.

I don't see how the City of New York will be able to avoid calling for the complete evacuation of both zones A and B (orange and yellow shaded areas on image below - click link above for PDF version of map) if this scenario plays out as currently expected.  In fact, if you live in evacuation zone A or B, I wouldn't even wait for the City to tell you - I'd plan to be out of that area by Saturday afternoon.  Make arrangements to stay with a friend or relative further inland.

This also brings up another point, with the potential for rain and/or storm surge induced flooding, as well as widespread wind damage across New York City late Saturday and into Sunday, I would expect major disruption - if not a total shutdown - of mass transit systems.

This is a very dangerous and potentially life threatening situation.  If you live across this region, please heed all warnings and local evacuation orders.  Your preparation and evacuation plans should be well underway at this time, and you should strive to complete those actions by the end of the day tomorrow.

Tomorrow we'll be able to become even more specific with respect to the potential threats that Irene will pose to the region.

For more details on the expected track and East Coast impacts of Irene, please see my earlier post here.  Check back frequently on Friday for updates.

If you enjoy reading 'The Original Weather Blog', please be sure to "like" our facebook page!

No comments: