The likelihood of a strong hurricane Irene making landfall on the Carolina coast seems nearly certain and we are thinking about the potential for significant damage, injury, and disruption. This concern is slightly offset with the opportunity for ongoing collaborative research projects to observe a contemporary tropical cyclone. In addition, Irene will provide the opportunity to examine a significant tropical cyclone with some unique observational data sets.
- The ongoing CSTAR project between NC State University and nearly a dozen NWS offices across the Southeast has a focus on inland impacts of tropical cyclones. This project aims to improve inland forecasts of tropical cyclone winds and wind gusts along with better forecasts of precipitation associated with tropical cyclones that interact with inland surface boundaries.
- The KMHX Doppler radar which was upgraded to provide dual polarization data earlier this summer will likely be very close to the storm center and provide the first ever examination of the a Hurricane with a dual-pol WSR-88D.
- The CI-FLOW project aims to improve the quality of flood and surge information. CI-FLOW currently focuses on the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse River basins of North Carolina and the adjacent coastal waters and shorelines of the Pamlico Sound and Atlantic Ocean. More information on CIFLOW is available at: http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/ciflow/
- The CIFLOW project is also supporting real time storm surge and wave guidance for North Carolina. Forecast output is available at:http://nc-cera.renci.org/cgi-cera_nc/cera_nc.cgi
- The CIFLOW project will be deploying a suite of observational equipment to the North Carolina coast including a suite of wave surge gauges, a MIPS unit, 24 sticknets, and 2 Ka-band Dopplers, parsivel disdrometers and assorted NSSL equipment. The NOAA P3 will likely do some passes near the radar for validation work.