Surprise … computer models tracks for Irene have shifted east. It was first thought Hurricane Irene would track up the west coast of Florida or up the spine [central]. Now focus is placed on the east coast of Florida and the east coast as a whole. The definite track is still open but the frame is narrowing day by day.
At this time the National Hurricane Center is predicting a Major Hurricane Irene to impact around Charleston South Carolina on Saturday August 27th. Here is the current forecast track and conditions as of 2 PM EDT today –
WTNT34 KNHC 221748
HURRICANE IRENE INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 8A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092011
200 PM AST MON AUG 22 2011
...IRENE MOVING AWAY FROM PUERTO RICO...TROPICAL STORM WARNINGS
SUMMARY OF 200 PM AST...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 150 MI...240 KM WNW OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
ABOUT 50 MI...80 KM NNE OF PUNTA CANA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...989 MB...29.20 INCHES
Irene Forecast track as of 2pmedt Aug 22 2011
Irene Satellite as of 215pmedt Aug 22 2011
As a reminder this track is not set in stone and will change one way or the other. The NHC even reminds us of this in the Hurricane Irene discussion by stating
DO NOT TO FOCUS ON THE EXACT FORECAST TRACK…ESPECIALLY AT DAYS 4 TO 5…SINCE THE MOST RECENT 5-YEAR AVERAGE ERRORS AT THOSE FORECAST TIMES ARE 200 AND 250 MILES…RESPECTIVELY.
With that in mind, Hurricane Irene could as well make landfall in Savannah Georgia which is overdue for a hurricane. Funny in that another Hurricane named Irene passed to the east of Savannah Georgia from the SSW on October 17 1999 with 75mph winds. This far out it is anyone’s guess where Hurricane Irene will go, but the window is closing. Should Hurricane Irene make landfall somewhere on the U.S. coast, this will be the first hurricane landfall on the U.S. coast since Ike in 2008.
Here are some computer model plots –
Irene Forecast track as of 8amedt Aug 22 2011
Irene Forecast track as of 236pmedt Aug 22 2011