Colleagues, This one will make it. And I made it back from China and very gracious people who seemed to appreciate my talks and discussions with their leadership on how to further advance their weather prediction. They are certainly well poised to do so with an envious observational network. Long flight (20 hours) home and got back very late and slept in this morning. Sorry.
FORECAST: Tropical Storm Irene has winds of 50 mph headed westerly at 20 mph Irene is currently located in the northern Leeward Islands. Irene is headed toward Hispaniola, Peurto Rico and Haiti early this week. Then it will curve northward later in the week coming close to and possibly making landfall in South Florida. The east coast should keep the end of the week in mind. Certainly there will be high surf and locally heavy rainfall and certainly hurricane force gusts and probably category one winds.
DISCUSSION: Although presently disorganized, Irene is going to get her act together and intensify. All data and models agree that the ridge in the extreme western Atlantic will be weakening later in the week, and I agree. This will allow Irene to curve more northerly into the Florida Straights, and impact Florida. There is some uncertainty on just how close that will be and it maybe Wednesday before that is solid. Since the weakening does not presently exist, we are waiting to see how significant it will be and the degree of turning. Even a few degrees of difference will make a tremendous change in track, and that is the uncertainity. I think once Irene gets north of Cuba or Haiti, it is likely to become a Category One Hurricane again.
NEXT FORECAST: Monday morning 22nd.
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Peter S. Ray
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