Boy there’s a lot of chatter about Hurricane Irene out there! I guess that happens with 50+ million people about to be affected. So let me add to it…
Our friends in the Bahamas have seen the last of this one. So far, we hear there’s plenty of damage (as is expected) but no loss of life, which is the best news we could get.
The good news is the report that Irene has weakened and won’t have time to get up to Category 4 status. The bad news is that it’s still pretty darned powerful (95 knots vs 100 knots is really just noise, no?) and it’s one of the largest storms in terms of storm force wind radii ever seen.
Our friends in the Carolinas are getting more and more nervous. They should be. The outer banks are going to be raked, and they’ve seen this movie before. Floyd was a pretty good test for them, and it wasn’t fun. This won’t be either.
Our friends in the NYC area should be a lot more nervous that they appear to be. It’s been a while since they’ve had this test. The V shape of the coast that tops at NY Harbor is a perfect funnel for a LOT of water that will have no place else to go. The addition of Long Island Sound being blown into the East River will be a double whammy on Manhattan, western Long Island, the Bronx, and northern New Jersey. Why they’re playing a football game on Saturday afternoon is beyond me.
The sheer size of the storm also will mean a ton of rain over a very wide area as the storm passes thru. Given all the rain there in the past few weeks, this addition will likely cause flooding in areas that haven’t seen flooding for a long time.
Water threatens more lives in a storm than the wind does. But, oh yeah, it’s blowing 100 knots. It won’t be blowing that hard when it gets to the Metro area, maybe only 75? Ever stick your head out the window while you’re toodling down the highway at 75 mph? A knot is 1.14 times a mph, so 75 kts is about 85 mph. A tiny piece of sand at 85 mph hurts when it hits your face, no? Imagine that a garbage can lid hits your window at 85 MPH. Pow.
Folks, this is a big deal. The focus in the news is on NYC and environs, but the spread of this thing will affect millions more all up and down the I-95 corridor from the Carolinas, thru Washington, Philly, Hartford, Providence, Boston, Maine and into Canada. Please prepare for this one, and don’t wait for somebody to tell you to get to higher ground. If you’re not comfortable where you are, go somewhere where you’re comfortable. Soon.
There are tons of links to information (i.e. the National Hurricane Center) and analysis (i.e. Accuweather, Weather Underground, and lots more) in addition to your local government and media sources. Use them, and be safe.
It’s a nice day in Florida today though. Go figure!