Irene Brings Danger and Opportunity

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:
  • The CIFLOW project is also supporting real time storm surge and wave guidance for North Carolina. Forecast output is available at:
  • 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.
This entry was posted in CSTAR, TC and Boundary QPF, TC Improved Initial Conditions, TC Tornadoes. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Irene Brings Danger and Opportunity

  1. Adam says:

    Great info, thanks alot I live in these areas so nice to have some great info source 🙂

  2. hurricanebob says:

    Nice summary JB! For NWS Charleston’s forecast area it was another case of being on the west side of a passing TC which presented some challenges regarding the inland winds. Only the northeast portion of our forecast area (Charleston/Berkeley Counties) was under Tropical Storm Watches/Warnings. However, as far as we can tell we did not see any reports of sustained tropical storm force winds in this area, only in gusts associated with the rain bands. The TCMWind tool was used to create the deterministic wind forecast and many forecasters struggled with how much to reduce the winds over land. On one hand many felt compelled to not reduce them too much, especially once TS Warnings were in effect, on the other it did not appear we would get sustained tropical storm force winds. Looking forward to hearing from other NWS offices and continuing work with the rest of the team looking into the TC inland winds issue.

    BTW…here is a graphic of preliminary impacts to our area, including peak wind gusts:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s