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Hurricane Irene: Cone of Uncertainty, Hurricane Tracker, Storm Surge

eebee's picture

I feel compelled to air some thoughts about the current hurricane threat, and to throw in some useful links. I'm sure anybody in the path of Hurricane Irene knows  where to go for the latest satellite, radar and projections. I'm hoping they are also giving a great deal of thought to a Storm Plan, in case things get rough. 

Of interest with Hurricane Irene are the Northeast States, if only for their dense populations. As with NOAA's SPC and the deadly Missouri-Alabama-Tennessee tornado outbreak in April this year, the NOAA National Hurricane Center has been pretty sure about this particular storm's trajectory now for the past 3 days. Perhaps that's the nature of the East Coast storms, as opposed to those in the Gulf of Mexico. It seems to be clear to those monitoring the tropics by the time a storm has approached the Bahamas, as to whether it's going to head out to sea, or make for the US coast. 

Noaa National Hurricane Center

You can find many resources on that page alone, which really don't need to be explained or interpreted by the news media for the general public to understand them. The warning cones are self-explanatory. Just check back every 6 hours or so for updates.

The best local radars I've used are on www.wunderground.com. Just plug in your zip code. You can (should) customize your radar to include all watches and warnings. Check the boxes further down the page under the radar loop.

And because sometimes I just like to see the pretty patterns from space minus borders and words, I love this GOES Water Vapor loop. It does it for me in black and white, but if you like color, try this one from accuweather.com.

Speaking of Accuweather, they have an active forum full of weather enthusiasts happy to give local updates on their observations from the ground level. These are often so much more useful than keeping your telly on, waiting in vain for your local on-camera weather persona to say something worthwhile. Assuming of course, you still have power.

I would urge anybody along the coast in the Northeast (Manhattan!) to read up on storm surges right about now. It might be more effective if the typical storm surge image contained buildings instead of a beach and palm trees, to bring it home about the danger and possible damage.

Be aware that hurricanes often spawn small tornadoes. These crop up typically in the storm'[img_assist|nid=1388|title=Cool Labrador|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=100|height=150]s north-east quadrant, but can form anywhere in the outer bands of the storm. The biggest problem is they are harder to spot by radar and therefore more difficult to issue any warnings for, according to the Storm Prediction Center's tornado FAQ.

Well I got this far without breaking out any Dexy's Midnight Runners puns, or inappropriate jokes about the name Irene (PM me!). However, we can always keep fingers crossed for a Cool Labrador Current to rush southwards before Sunday, to lower the water temps and keep the Northeast safe!  


roadskater's picture

Some Favorites, Plus Some Great Finds, So Thanks!

Hey that's a helpful article for all of us who hope to skate on Saturday, and for those who have much greater worries for life and property. That Accuweather color vapor animation is one of our favorite quick looks, along with some other things not so relevant right now (namely the weather.gov 48-hour graphical forecast). The storm surge seems like a real danger on the outer banks, even as much as 10 feet in some places. Wow. Anyway thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience and links, especially to those who watch this stuff all the time when it's not even their job, but their passion! OK. Better get going, but thanks again!
roadskater's picture

Water Vapor and Quantitative Precipitation Forecast QPF Loops

I should add that the left sidebar as of this writing has a weather block which has been there awhile. I usually forget it's there. It has air quality info, but the first two links open up to display animations for

The first is pretty self-explanatory. The QPF is just a prediction of the most likely amount of precipitation within a given time segment. In this case it is useful to show who might get heavy rains that might affect the skating and biking events.
Also I noticed that your GOES loop above can be hacked to get infrared...and probably doesn't have to be hacked to find it either...
Thanks again for the links and overview.
eebee's picture

Irene Time-Lapse

roadskater's picture

New York Times Hurricane Tracker and Hurricanes.gov mobile site

This is a pretty nice map showing the path of the hurricane...



Also the National Hurricane Center

http://hurricanes.gov or


roadskater's picture

Emergency Extreme Weather Information Cheatsheets and Guide

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