Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Irene Day Two

Yesterday, it was a virtual certainty that Irene would make landfall in NC. The effects of a cold front were not only disregarded, but the forecast called for Irene to slip through a break in the low pressure trough. So I called a couple of places to see if we could get hauled out with no luck. I then called River Dunes, a nice New Urbanist development off Broad Creek several miles downriver from Oriental. And here we are.

River Dunes is an artificial marina in that it was dug out of the land with a canal leading out to Broad Creek. It has no direct connection to the Neuse River so it has no fetch. The docks are floating docks so it is much easier to deal with storm surge than with fixed docks where you need to constantly loosen your dock lines as the water rises. The boat is about half ready, so we are going over to my parents' home on Bogue Sound to prepare it for the storm. We will finish prepping the boat tomorrow.

The best news? The NHC models now show Irene tracking more easterly than yesterday. If that holds, we will not be in the northeast quadrant any longer. Also, the low pressure trough that was forecast to have little effect on Irene is now forecast to possibly push her away from the NC coast. We would still have a brush with tropical storm force winds, but the hurricane winds would be offshore. We can hope.

Regardless of track, Irene continues to have favorable conditions for strengthening. She should become a Cat 3 today. Therefore, when she passes NC, she could still pack plenty of damaging winds. (Surprisingly, as Irene has strengthened, her hurricane force winds have remained close to the eye, currently only 40 miles out from the eye even though the storm itself stretches over 700 miles.)

Stay tuned. These storms always seem to have daily twists and obfuscations.

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