REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT AND NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATE THAT THE CENTER OF IRENE MOVED OVER NEW YORK CITY AROUND 900 AM EDT, 1300 UTC. IRENE HAS WEAKENED TO A TROPICAL STORM AND THE ESTIMATED INTENSITY AT LANDFALL WAS 65 MPH
whilst the warnings they issued at 2 AM remain much the same. The models used by surf forecasting website MagicSeaweed suggest that the eye of the storm is currently passing almost directly over New York City, accompanied by strong onshore winds:
This morning's first public advisory bulletin from the National Hurricane Center places the eye of Hurricane Irene "About 195 miles south-southwest of New York City" and warns that:
AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATERLEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 4 TO 8 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL WITHIN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA FROM THE NORTH CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER NORTHWARD TO CAPE COD INCLUDING SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND ITS TRIBUTARIES. NEAR THE COAST THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE DESTRUCTIVE AND LIFE-THREATENING WAVES. HIGHER THAN NORMAL ASTRONOMICAL TIDES ARE OCCURRING THIS WEEKEND. COASTAL AND RIVER FLOODING WILL BE HIGHEST IN AREAS WHERE THE PEAK SURGE OCCURS AROUND THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE. STORM TIDE AND SURGE VALUES ARE VERY LOCATION-SPECIFIC AND USERS ARE URGED TO CONSULT PRODUCTS ISSUED BY THEIR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES.
As Hurricane Irene moves at 13 miles per hour north north east along the eastern seaboard of the Unites States massive power outages are following in its wake. Here's how North Carolina looks at 1:30 PM EDT:
The eye of Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout, North Carolina around 7:30 AM EDT
The residents of North Carolina won't need me to remind them of that fact even if they are able to read my words, since large numbers of them are currently without mains electricity. Here's a snapshot of the online outage map provided to their customers in the Carolinas by Progress Energy:
I've been blogging for some years now about the apparently increasing impact of North Atlantic hurricanes, and in particular their effect on one of the poorest nations on the planet, Haiti. Today Hurricane Irene has left Haiti in its wake, and according to the United Nations this time around:
This morning Reuters reports that the death toll from the cholera epidemic is now over 500:
Amid widespread relief that the hurricane largely spared crowded camps in the Haitian capital housing 1.3 million quake survivors, the international humanitarian operation was turning its attention back to the two-week-old epidemic, which has killed just over 500 people and sickened more than 7,000.
Friday morning has arrived, and unfortunately the forecasts weren't too far out. Tomas has strengthened to hurricane force once more, and is travelling only slightly to the west of Tuesday's forecast track. According to Reuters: