Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene Update

Image of North Carolina 12 at Mirlo Beach completely inundated by the Atlantic Ocean. This basically closes off Hatteras Island to the north.

The ghostly image of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse being lashed by Hurricane Irene this morning.

Hurricane Irene has made a landfall at Cape Lookout, North Carolina at about 7:30AM this morning. I have been looking at local observations and it appears strong winds have been buffeting Ocracoke and Hatteras Island since midnight. A wind gust to 125km/h was observed on Ocracoke, with 137km/h at the Lighthouse on Hatteras. Heavy rain has also been falling with flash flooding. Winds have toppled trees and power lines with thousands without power. Scattered tornadoes overnight also caused considerable damage. Reports from the NWS in Newport indicate about 5 to 7 inches of rain overnight with a storm surge of 5 to 9 feet along the sounds and coast. I am trying to determine damage on the Outer Banks south to the Core Banks. I am listening to the hurricane net and so far this morning lots of tornado warnings are being posted for southeast Virginia as heavy squalls move inland.

Warnings remain in effect up the entire east coast to Maine. Inland tropical storm warnings are in effect for southern New York and New England.

Synopsis for Montreal: Here is a breakdown of what will happen in southern Quebec. Irene has weakened this morning to a category one storm with 90 mph winds. Despite this she remains a big wind and rain maker and will continue to do so into Sunday. Montreal remains on the western edge of the system with a very sharp drop off of weather expected west of the city. That being said it looks like about 50 to 100mm of rain beginning early Sunday and lasting all day from the city east and southeast. Eastern Ontario may only see scattered showers. The rain will be capable of producing flash flooding especially in the Townships and points east. A high wind warning is in effect for Montreal and southern Quebec. The valley will help channel northeast winds into the city with gusts between 50-90km/h throughout Sunday. Winds of that strength are capable of downing power lines and trees. Winds will back to the north late in the day and drop to 50km/h. The strongest winds will be in the St. Lawrence Valley and across the higher elevations of southern Quebec. More updates to follow via twitter.

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