Aug 24, 2011

DAY 84

Hurricane Irene spent most of Tuesday as a downgraded Cat 1. That is where she's at tonight at 11pm eastern with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and a pressure of 969 mb. That is a very low pressure for a storm that is only a Cat 1, but Irene has become a little lopsided today after battling a little dry air and some moderate wind shear. The most evident thing from the visible satellite is the wobble of Irene's center. A wobble from any spinning object is an indication that it is losing momentum. Or in Irene's case, struggling to regain it.

(Hurricane Irene)
Don't be fooled by her Cat 1 status though, Irene is still a strengthening hurricane. The eye-wall is starting to get its form back, as seen from the TRMM satellite using  85GHz microwave imagery. Also in this image you see the lopsided nature of her outer structure. The south and west quadrant is not symmetric with the other sides. Those Greater Antilles islands occupying that area is mostly to blame for that.

(Hurricane Irene from the TRMM Satellite)

The official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center has shifted to the east a bit tonight. Irene is in the exact spot that she was forecast to be 24 hours ago. The shift was made to the day 4 and 5 part of the track where it now has US landfall for Irene in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Florida is now completely out of the 'cone of possibility' which significantly lowers the possibility of Irene making landfall in Florida.

The computer models have also shifted today. They have shifted into a consensus, agreeing with each other and agreeing with the official NHC track. Irene is also still forecast to become a major hurricane, and possibly a Cat 4 after clearing the Bahamas.

Invest 98L is still harmlessly out in the the central Atlantic. NHC is still giving it a 10% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone. It is forecast to continue WNW into the north Atlantic.

(Invest 98L)
A new tropical wave has emerged off of Africa and has been designated Invest 90L. It is located near the Cape Verde islands and is being given a 30% chance of developing in the next 48 hours.

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