Saturday, August 27, 2011

Aug 27, 2011 11 AM: Irene's Predicted Baltimore Impacts Are On Target

First, let's look at the 10 AM radar image of the storm.   The eye is making contact with North Carolina's Outer Banks.   The distribution of heavy rain is asymmetric, with heaviest amounts on the northwest side.  This distribution is typical of storms that move into the Mid Atlantic.  The heavy rain shield will continue to move north and west through the morning and afternoon, enveloping the major cities (DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC).   Periods of heavy rain will alternate with lulls as individual rain bands sweep through.  Maximum rains of 10"-12" are expected along a narrow stripe that extends up the center of the Delmarva, southern Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and NYC - essentially along the projected storm track.   Several inches are anticipated locally in Baltimore.

10 AM radar (Weathertap)

Hazards:  These maps from NWS Washington-Baltimore office are shown below.  The reasoning has not changed much since yesterday's post.  Note that hazards are not shown east of the Chesapeake Bay as this region is not covered by NWS Washington-Baltimore.   Timing is such that the most intense wind and rain are expected overnight.  Conditions improve steadily through the day on Sunday.

11 AM Hurricane Center Storm Update and Track:   The storm is down to 85 mph sustained winds - a low end Cat 1 storm.  Continued slow weakening is expected.  The storm is feeling impacts of wind shear and dry air off the mainland.   As the storm passes east of Baltimore tonight, the intensity should decrease down to 75 mph, then weaken to tropical storm Sunday morning.  Below is the track and radius of expected tropical storm wind at 8 pm tonight (Stormpulse):

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