Hurricane Irene – Tracking and Chase Potential

Now that we’re getting within a reasonable amount of forecast accuracy, I figured it’s time to make a post about Irene and my chasing prospects.

The models have been consistently trending east with Irene for the past couple of days, but the most recent runs have inched back west as the synoptic setup out west is getting worked out (which will be the kicker that causes Irene to recurve). Observational model biases indicate that the kicker trough will verify more slowly than what is currently modeled, which would allow Irene to work further west. Right now it’s progged to go through (or just east of) the Outer Banks of North Carolina before making landfall on Long Island and the Northeast. Any more of a westward push would send Irene into the Morehead City, NC area or the Delmarva Peninsula, which will be the two areas that Jason (The Weather Warrior) and I will be targeting. Obviously it will have to come down to a decision of choosing just one of these locations, as timing and road closures would make it very difficult, if not impossible to reposition from one area to the other in time.

The decision to go will have to be made tomorrow, as departure time will likely be early Friday. I have discussed the possibility of Irene coming back west, but there is still a good possibility that it could go further east and miss the Mid-Atlantic or even the Northeast, so the next 24 hours of development will be extremely important in zeroing-in on Irene’s track. Right now I’m slightly above 50% GO for chasing.

As it stands, Irene is a Category 3 Hurricane and is expected to intensify a bit more while in/near the Bahamas, with gradual weakening as it nears the East Coast.

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