230 miles above the Earth Hurricane Irene

Look at the size of this monster:

Article from our Amazing Planet 

The first hurricane to threaten the United States this year brings the potential of gale-force winds, soaking rains and flooding to a broad swath of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

Last Saturday evening, an Air Force reserve hurricane hunter aircraft investigating a large tropical wave east of the Lesser Antilles in the North Atlantic Ocean found a small low-level circulation center sporting sustained (steady) winds of 50 mph (80 kph).  These wind speeds took it above the threshold for a tropical storm, making it the ninth of the season; it was christened “Irene.” Slowly strengthening as it moved to the north of Puerto Rico, Irene’s winds increased to 75 mph (121 kph) early on Monday, making it the season’s first hurricane.

Update 8/24/11

  • We’ve expanded the “HIGH” threat level category from eastern North Carolina northward to New England.
  • Computer models are currently trending toward a forecast solution of rare potency for portions of the Northeast.
  • Irene has the potential to be a serious and multi-hazard threat for the major metropolitan areas of the Northeast along and east of the I-95 corridor. This includes New York City. This hurricane has the potential to produce flooding rains, high winds, downed trees (on houses, cars, power lines) and widespread power outages. Significant impacts along the immediate coast include high waves, surge and beach erosion. The severity of the impacts will be determined by Irene’s exact path and intensity, which remain uncertain at this time.
  • For North Carolina, odds are increasing that the main impact will be confined to the Outer Banks and elsewhere in extreme eastern NC

Update 8/25/11 Her She Comes: From TWC

Hurricane Irene is threatening hundreds of miles of highly populated areas along the U.S. coast. Millions of Americans could potentially feel the storm’s impacts in the next week. Emergency managers from the Carolinas to the Northeast are taking precautions. President Obama has also started receiving briefings on the storm status.

  • Dare County: Mandatory evacuation order is in effect for the county
  • Currituck County: Tourists ordered to evacuate coast on Thursday
  • NC Ferry System: First-come, first-serve basis for all vehicles pending road conditions
  • State Dept. of Transportation: Workers are positioning heavy equipment on Hatteras Island to keep N.C. 12 open as long as possible The highway is highly vulnerable to flooding during storms
  • Ocracoke/Hyde County: Evacuations began Wednesday morning
    Hang on east coast your tough you have proved that time and time again were all with you.

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