Our computer models continue in a westward shift with the track of Tropical Storm this morning. Yesterday, models leaned towards taking the storm into the FL panhandle. Today, they seem to be favoring a track into Louisiana. There is still a great deal of uncertainty with the eventual outcome of landfall…somewhere between Pensacola FL and New Orleans Early Wed AM. How strong? Cat 2 likely. 100+ mph…but could be stronger depending upon the track and the depth of the warm water the storm tracks over. Cat 3 can not be ruled out. Storm Surge will be dependent upon the strength of the storm as seas/waves become bigger with deeper pressure falls and stronger winds. Where ever this storm hits it will come with significant storm surge flooding and damaging winds. All of this happening on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The path into New Orleans is the worst direction a hurricane can take for the city 6 feet under sea level. Levees could be tested again. All we can do is hope for a shift to the East…but then Mobile, Biloxi and Pensacola are the target. Answers to strength, track, surge, impact will come in the coming days. For now…all we can do is monitor.
Hurricane Irene made landfall at Cape Lookout this morning bringing winds of 80 to 100 mph to the outer banks of North Carolina. Some gusts offshore have peaked over 110 mph. The storm continues to weaken with each update from the National Hurricane Center as it slowly drifts and spins inland across eastern NC. Further Weakening is likely but with a surface air pressure still at 953 mb…it is still a powerful storm with a large expansive wind field. This sort of air pressure is more typical of a category 2 hurricane.
This morning, residents on the South Shore got a chance to see the damage left behind by the snow storm.