TODAY: Hurricane Irene remains a Cat 2 hurricane as of noon today with winds around 90 Kts or in the 105 - 110mph range. No longer forecast to become a Major Hurricane, which will not make much of a difference to anyone in the path . Little change in strength is anticipated as the storm approaches the coast of North Carolina with passport already in spiral band for the Canadian Border by sometime Monday. Recovery efforts in Florida are underway as residents put umbrellas back in the rack (some were never required). Surfs up, for a while longer. The waves came up pretty high and across white,virgin refurbishment sand in Canaveral but never quite got up to the steps in the refurbishment zone. In a sense, it was costly damage, considering the man-hours spent to get the sand there in the first place.
Warnings are going are up as hurricane warning flags are hoisted toward North Carolina and Virginia with more on the way up the coast as residents prepare for extremely heavy rainfall, strong winds (naturally), and torrential as well as prolonged rainfall , and beach erosion issues. This storm could go down in the Books a "Big" one in terms of cost. If folks are wise, few lives will be lost. "Ive Seen Irene, I 've Met my Maker"...does not apply.
The storm will be meeting up with a mid-low level trough axis and become entwined partially with it. Between those two forces Irene will be abetted with its partner in Meteorological Warfare to continue her 'reigns' across the Eastern seaboard and adjacent Atlantic waters. Severe erosion, damaging winds to ocean fronts and other areas to a lesser degree, and widespread power outages due to downed trees (rooted in already very moist soil from rains in previous days) and flat out wind strength, as well as flooding caused merely by the rainfall totals will deal a 1-2-3-4 punch.
LOCALLY: After the above, it is a bit hard to find anything worth noting for this Friday in Florida. It is all explained in the above image. Irene is moving away. There is still some energy rotating around the storm, and Florida remains joined at the hip with the system in the mid-levels. Any mid-level energy to rotate around the storm has the potential to initiate rain or even thunder. So, I checked out the possibilities. There is a vort (vorticity) lobe up north and some good cloud and rain cover associated with it. Timing would bring it in very late today or into tonight. It seems to be located in the red box, and timing brings it to East Central and NE Florida late today based on satellite animation. Otherwise, most of the area will be rain free with only a few light drops. Do not believe, if it does rain, it will have anything to do with heating or instability (which is there)...but will be solely driven by corkscrewing rotation in the sky passing overhead...but wouldn't by pass plans based on this notion. More of a 'heads up, you never know' thing here today.
WEEKEND WEATHER: Looks to be breezy during the afternoons and very warm. Record or near record highs are possible, mainly in NE Florida but the areas along A1A that would normally receive a sea breeze are likely to set new records or come close as WSW of 10-20mph porevail. ...lighter evening and over night
As noted before, we will never know the true extent of the warmth..because there are no official reporting stations along A1A other than Patrick AFB. Either way, expecting highs in the mid 90Fs most everywhere, maybe some upper 90Fs, and perhaps JAX can crack 100F. Numerical guidance I do not believe is quite on the bandwagon from what I've read, but either way it will be warm and mostly dry. So in that regard, heat indices (the 'feels like temperature') won't be all so bad. Any extra moisture though than is currently indicated could give rise to a rain shower almost anywhere from late morning toward evening. Will have to keep tabs on this though..because even more moisture could result in thunder.
MONDAY/TUESDAY: Irene will be departing after peaking over a Niagra Falls (eh..?) and leaving a long trough down the U.S. East Side ..east of the Mississippi. Thus, all of these states will be indirectly impacted by the remnant trough in some form or another through Tuesday when it finally starts to break down. I'm thinking it will leave a weak mid-level circulation in place for some time to come..even as the lower levels adjusts. Sea breezes possibly Monday close to the coast and thunder..same with Tuesday.
BEYOND: Going pretty far out in time now, but it looks like thunder will continue ..favoring interior and the west side for a day or two..after which point we are already a week out .
LONG RANGE: Watching the Gulf of Mexico, western near shore Atlantic, Bay of Campeche, and western Caribbean for potential tropical development. Indications are that the remnant trough of Irene could lay dormant across the Deep South, Florida, and the northern Gulf for a while. These boundaries are perfect ammo for future tropical cyclone development. Almost forgot, there is a depression well out in the Atlantic, but that one seems to have signed its own Death Certificate...waiting for processing.