Hurricane Irene – A weekend of wild weather coming!

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Hurricane Irene Tracking MapTHUNDER BAY – For Americans and Canadians on the eastern seaboard, this weekend will one where keeping in tune with the weather will be critical. Hurricane Irene is tracking to cover an area from North Carolina to New York and then up into the Canadian Maritimes. The Weather Office is stating, “Hurricane Irene forecast to make landfall near Long Island new York Sunday afternoon affecting Eastern Canada late Sunday into Monday as it becomes post-tropical”.

Right now people are getting ready – Preparation is critical:

Here is the latest information from the Canadian Hurricane Centre:

Tropical cyclone information statement updated by the Canadian Hurricane Centre of Environment Canada at 8:36 PM ADT Friday 26 August 2011.

The next statement will be issued by 3:00 AM ADT.

Hurricane Irene forecast to make landfall near Long Island new York Sunday afternoon affecting Eastern Canada late Sunday into Monday as it becomes post-tropical.

1. Summary of basic information at 3.00 PM ADT.

Location: 32.2 north 77.1 west.

About 370 kilometers south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Maximum sustained winds: 157 km/h.

Present movement: north at 22 km/h.

Minimum central pressure: 952 MB.

2. Public weather impacts and warnings summary.

Irene will affect eastern Canadian territory starting Sunday and into early next week. The storm will be undergoing transition to post-tropical with wind and rainfall spreading far from the storm center. It is expected that the heaviest rainfall will occur to the left of the track and highest winds to the right. Computer models
are suggesting this sort of pattern and it is consistent with a storm that will be transforming to a post-tropical low. Over the weekend we will be able to be more geographically specific about where these effects will be felt. Although the official forecast track goes through Maine, it is equally possible that Irene could track close to the Bay of Fundy.

A. Wind.

It is still a bit too early to know what the wind speeds are likely to be when Irene arrives. It is quite likely that sustained tropical storm force winds (60+ km/h) will spread over much of the maritime provinces and the eastern portions of Quebec. We will have a better understanding over the weekend as to how strong the gusts may be.

B. Rainfall.

Heavy rain potentially exceeding 100 millimetres is likely over some areas left of Irene’s track. Additionally, a large band of heavy rain is anticipated to spread out well ahead and to the right of the storm centre which would be followed by the strongest winds. It is worth noting that many parts of Eastern Canada have received above
normal rainfall this summer which could raise the risk of flooding. This risk will be primarily left of the storm track. Details will become available over the weekend.

C. Surge/waves.

The potential for high winds pushing storm surge and waves from the southwest into the Bay of Fundy exists with this storm. It is important to note that spring tides around midnight Sunday night and midday Monday in that region could exacerbate surge/wave effects if the storm were to arrive precisely coincident with those tides.
Note that as of now, there is a timing uncertainty of +/- 12 hours with this storm. Storm surge and wave threats will also exist throughout the maritime provinces and eastern portions of Quebec and the St Lawrence river/gulf region with the arrival of the storm.

Details will become available over the weekend.

3. Marine impacts and warnings summary.

Gale force winds in advance of Irene will likely move into portions of the southwestern maritime marine district late on Sunday. These gales would spread to portions of the gulf of St. Lawrence thereafter. Just right of the storm track, storm force or even hurricane-force winds are possible. Wave heights up to 5 metres are possible over southwestern maritime waters into the Bay of Fundy late Sunday and/or Monday. Large waves could occur over portions of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the entrance to the St Lawrence river when Irene approaches and passes through.

Visit weatheroffice.Gc.Ca/hurricane for the latest:

– forecast position, central pressure table.
– strength and predicted wind radii table.
– hurricane track information map.
– technical discussion.

Please also refer to the public and marine forecasts and warnings issued by Environment Canada for your area.