Monday, August 22, 2011

Hurricane Irene Brings Both Good and Bad News

Hurricane Irene continues to strengthen as she churns through the western Atlantic Ocean. She has already done damage to Puerto Rico and is currently spinning just to the north of Hispaniola.

The strength of Irene will highly depend on whether or not the center of circulation can stay away from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. If the center stays out over open waters, which most models agree on, then Irene will strengthen even further, possibly into a category 2 hurricane by tomorrow.

Irene will continue to track off to the northwest and is slated to make landfall somewhere along the eastern seaboard this weekend, possibly as a major hurricane. While the center of the track brings landfall into the Carolina's, there is still a lot of uncertainty in regards to where exactly she will end up since we are still five days away.

The average forecast error this far out (5 days)averages around 200 miles. That's why areas such as the east coast of Florida to the Virginia's are in the cone of uncertainty.

The track of Hurricane Irene will be bittersweet for us. The good news is that we won't have to deal with a hurricane. However, we could use a tropical depression or storm to help alleviate the ongoing drought.

There are a few more tropical waves well out in the Atlantic Ocean, but at this point, they don't appear to be threatening the Gulf of Mexico anytime soon.

Remember that you can stay up-to-date with the current position, forecast track, intensity forecast, and links to the National Hurricane Center by going to our Hurricane Center on It even shows you the latest radar and satellite images.