2330 EDT AUG 24
I have tried to show you that there was a level of uncertainty here and that many of these TV forecasters and the weather channel folks who kept insisting that IRENE was not going to be a significant hurricane threat for the East coast …are now in a whole lot of trouble. Really folks forecasting in the day 3 to day 7 time frame is NOT guessing. There IS a rational way to do it. The model data has begun to shift back to the WEST as I thought it might on this Wednesday afternoon and evening. However these facts really haven’t changed anybody’s forecast yet.
For example the meteorologist on NBC affiliate in Richmond Virginia suggested that Saturday there might not be any rain at all in Richmond and that it might just be a little wet and rainy in Southeast Virginia. And over at WAVY TV 10 the local TV weather Parrot there kept saying Not much was going to happen for se VA.
I suppose looking strictly at the models from early Wednesday morning one could make that argument. But that is the problem. Your job as a meteorologist is more –or should be more –than simply regurgitating what ever piece of idiocy the model is showing. You are supposed to be able to see a little information past the computer model. I certainly can and I am a lot busier than they are.
It certainly is still possible that hurricane Irene may shift back to the east again and reduce the threat the Eastern North Carolina and Eastern Virginia as well as the lower Maryland Eastern shore. But the concern here is that this event is on Saturday and the forecast that this TV meteorologists was making was on Wednesday. Given the fact we have a category 4 hurricane approaching the east coast I just can not for the life of me figure out why anybody would say that it might not even rain in Richmond.
Later on Thursday I will make some detailed regional forecasts but many you have already seen some of these ideas /forecast r on the Face ook page.
This first image shows you the early WED morning or 0z GFS and as you can see the model continue to take hurricane Irene south and east of Cape Hatteras and out to sea.
However the vastly superior European model was not showing that . The Euero showed Irene tracking over very close to Cape Hatteras then paralleling the lower Virginia eastern shore coast and tracking much closer to Ocean city Maryland and Caoe May New Jersey. This would of course present much more serious threat to all southeastern Virginia the northern outer banks the lower Virginia and Maryland Eastern shores and came a New Jersey with potentially a historic hurricane.
Naturally even though the European model is vastly superior practically every single meteorologist up and down theREast coast that was on TV … pretty much ignored it.
At midday however the 12z GFS began to shift a little bit to the west
And the midday European continue to show a extremely ominous scenario with a track again one over Hatteras and pounding the hell out of Southeastern Virginia especially the lower Chesapeake Bay …the Virginia and Maryland Eastern shore.. is the coastal areas of Southern Delaware and the Delaware Bay and Southern New Jersey.
What the European model was showing was that Irene was slowing down and the cold front over the Midwest was coming in weaker. As a result the hurricane was bending to the north but NOT NNE along the coast. The threat continued up into NYC long island and much of Eastern New England.
The major change however began with the 18 Z GFS which followed the European model in showing of significantly closer to the coast track –which quite frankly surprised anybody. As you can see from the 18 Z run the eye wall tracks over Hatteras and fairly close to the Virginia Maryland Eastern shore. This can only be viewed as being supportive of the 12 Z European model. This is why the hurricane center at 11:00 PM discussion mentioned that the models are about 30 to 50 miles closer to the coast with hurricane Irene.
Even the dimwit in Central Virginia which was forecasting no rain for Richmond have decided to bring back the rain in the forecast but again said it might only been 1-2″ and the might be a few gusty winds but that was about it.
I have seen the new 0z GFS and it is even more threatening as it continues to take Irene even closer and closer to the coast . It now shows the western eye wall actually making landfall against Morehead city. Keep in mind that this model only 24 HRS ago had Irene 100 miles southeast of Morehead city!!!!! However the GFS continued and now showed the IRENE passing west or just over Hatteras and that out across Nags head North Carolina tracking very close to Sandbridge Virginia and then paralleling the lower Virginia and Maryland Eastern shore’s perhaps fully obliterating Ocean city Maryland with a tremendous wind and storm five.
There is no doubt that up and down the East coast and especially in the mid Atlantic areas some of the incompetent TV mets and southeastern Virginia will have to make MAJOR changes. Mind you these are some of the same TV weather forecasters who forecasted no snow last xmas day and ended up with 12 to 18 inches.