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Old 08-18-2011, 03:27 PM
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Hurricane Irene

From Dr. Jeff Masters:
A tropical wave near 14°N 40°W, midway between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the coast of Africa, is moving westward near 15 - 20 mph. This wave, designated 97L by NHC this morning, has little heavy thunderstorm activity associated with it due to dry air, but an impressive amount of large-scale spin is obvious in visible satellite loops. 97L is expected to arrive in the Lesser Antilles Islands by Saturday. Over the past day, all four of our reliable models for predicting tropical storm genesis have predicted that this wave could develop into a tropical depression sometime Saturday through Monday, so 97L needs to be watched carefully. NHC gave 97L a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday morning in their 8am outlook, and it is unlikely that this storm will pose much of a threat to the Lesser Antilles. It will take several days for the storm to overcome the large amount of dry air surrounding it, even though wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots. By Saturday, the wave will find a moister atmosphere and warmer sea surface temperatures near the northern Lesser Antilles, and more rapid development may occur. However, there is expected to be high wind shear associated with an upper level low pressure system to the north of Puerto Rico at that time, and this wind shear may interfere with development. 97L is expected to take a west-northwest track through the Northeast Caribbean bringing the storm near Puerto Rico by Sunday or Monday. Long-range model runs, which are highly unreliable, foresee that 97L could be a threat to Hispaniola, Eastern Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida by the middle to end of next week.
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Last edited by DrRalph; 08-22-2011 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:59 PM
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97L could be a big one, but so far this year in 7 named tropical storms, not a single one has been an Atlantic hurricane. According the the weather historians this has never been seen since they started accurate records in about 1851. There are some puffs coming off of Africa and there's one behind 97L as well, and some could develop, but so far the hurricane season is more known for being a total wimp. Let's keep it that way, eh?
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:14 PM
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Invest 97L likely to become a tropical storm next week, could threaten the U.S.

From Dr. Jeff Masters:
A tropical wave near 14°N 48°W, about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, is moving westward near 20 mph. This wave, designated Invest 97L by NHC yesterday, has seen a marked increase in its heavy thunderstorm activity this morning, but dry air to the north and west is slowing development. An impressive amount of large-scale spin is obvious in visible satellite loops, but the storm is at least a day away from forming a well-defined surface circulation. Ocean temperatures are about 28.5°C, about 2°C above the threshold needed to support a tropical storm, and wind shear is low, 5 - 10 knots.

The computer models have shown an unusual amount of agreement in developing 97L over the past few days, and all the ingredients seem to be in place for a tropical storm to form by Monday or Tuesday as 97L crosses the Northeast Caribbean. The atmosphere is expected to be moister over the Caribbean, wind shear will remain a low 5 - 10 knots, and sea surface temperatures will increase to near 29°C. The main impediment for development will likely be two-fold: too much dry, stable air, and proximity to land.
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"The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism...Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force."
from US Central Intelligence Agency 2008 Factbook
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:51 PM
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Invest 97L likely to become a tropical storm by Tuesday, could threaten the U.S.

From Dr. Jeff Masters:
A tropical wave near 14°N 56°W, about 450 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, is moving west to west-northwest at 15 - 20 mph. This wave, designated Invest 97L, has built a respectable amount of heavy thunderstorm activity over the past day, but remains disorganized. Dry air to the north and west is slowing development, as well as moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots, as analyzed by the University of Wisconsin CIMSS group. An impressive amount of large-scale spin is obvious in visible satellite loops, but there is no sign of a well-defined surface circulation. An ASCAT pass at 9:04am EDT this morning showed a strong wind shift, but no closed circulation. Ocean temperatures are about 28.5°C, about 2°C above the threshold needed to support a tropical storm. A hurricane hunter aircraft will investigate 97L this afternoon.

he computer models have shifted southwards since yesterday, and now take 97L south of Puerto Rico on Monday, and along the south shore of the Dominican Republic on Tuesday. On Wednesday, 97L should pass near or over southern Haiti, Eastern Cuba, and Jamaica. On Wednesday and Thursday, the models agree that a trough of low pressure will dip down over the Eastern U.S., which is likely to turn 97L to the north. The exact timing and strength of this trough varies considerably from model to model, and will be critical in determining where and when 97L will turn to the north. We can expect that 97L will impact Central Cuba, the Bahamas, and the Florida Keys on Thursday, but it is uncertain whether 97L's turn to the north will take the storm into the Gulf of Mexico or not.

The computer models continue to enthusiastically develop 97L, and all the ingredients seem to be in place for a tropical storm to form by Monday or Tuesday as 97L crosses the Northeast Caribbean. The atmosphere is expected to be moister over the Caribbean, wind shear will remain a low 5 - 10 knots, and sea surface temperatures will increase to near 29°C. The main impediment for development will likely be two-fold: too much dry, stable air, and proximity to land.

There has been an unusual amount of dry, stable air in the Atlantic this year, due to a combination of dry air from Africa, and upper-atmosphere dynamics creating large areas of sinking air that dry as they warm and approach the surface. This stable air has been largely responsible for the fact that none of our seven tropical storms so far this year has made it to hurricane strength, despite the presence of sea surface temperatures that are the 3rd warmest on record across the tropical Atlantic. Tropical Storm Emily in early August encountered problems with dry air when it crossed the Northeast Caribbean, and 97L may have similar difficulties. There will be some moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots to the north of 97L over the next week, and this shear may work in concert with the dry air to slow development.

Given 97L's current disorganization and problems with dry air, I believe it is unlikely the storm will be stronger than a 55 mph tropical storm on Tuesday morning, when it will be close enough to the mountainous island of Hispaniola that a good portion of its circulation will be over the island, disrupting the storm. 97L may also make a direct hit on the Dominican Republic or Haiti sometime Tuesday or Wednesday morning, which could even destroy the storm, like happened to Tropical Storm Emily in early August. However, there is at least a 30% chance that 97L will miss Hispaniola, and slide through the waters between Jamaica and Eastern Cuba, allowing the storm to intensify into a hurricane south of Cuba. At this point, it appears there are too many hurdles for 97L to negotiate for it to arrive in the Florida Straits as a hurricane, since the storm has to cross Cuba and/or Hispaniola, plus contend with dry air and wind shear. However, 97L hasn't even developed a well-defined circulation yet, making it difficult for the models to zero in on a solution for where the storm might go. The average error for an official 5-day forecast from NHC for a developed storm is 200 - 250 miles; the error will be much higher for a 6 to 7-day forecast of an Invest that hasn't developed yet. Given the uncertainties, this weekend would be a good time to go over your hurricane preparedness if you live anywhere in the Caribbean, Bahamas, or Florida, since 97L could well be paying you a visit as a tropical storm or hurricane sometime in the next week.
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"The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism...Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force."
from US Central Intelligence Agency 2008 Factbook
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:58 PM
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I think we might have "Irene" for a name instead of 97L later this evening. It's very large and all the models are bulllish on it. The Weather Underground blog is going absolutely nuts (go to Jeff Master's blog page, scroll to bottom, and click "Comments." I went to do refresh my drink and 50 comments were added. So far, the gurus say this is a "Florida storm."
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:05 PM
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97L becomes TS Irene

From the National Huricane Center (NHC):
an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft investigating the
tropical wave east of the Lesser Antilles found a small low-level
circulation center just southwest of a large convective burst and a
minimum pressure of about 1006 mb. The plane also measured a
maximum wind of 53 kt at 1400 ft and believable winds of about
45 kt from the SFMR. Thus advisories are being initiated on
Tropical Storm Irene with an initial intensity of 45 kt.


A rough estimate of initial motion is about 280/19. A largemid-level ridge over the central and western tropical Atlantic isexpected to steer Irene toward the west-northwest over the next twoor three days. This ridge should weaken during that time and causeIrene to gradually decelerate. The guidance is in good agreement on a track generally in the direction of Hispaniola to the south ofPuerto Rico. Thereafter...a mid-latitude trough moving offshore ofthe eastern United States is expected to cause a weakness in theridge. This could allow Irene to gain some latitude...although themodels begin to spread out late in the period. The GFS and ECMWFshow enough of a weakness to bring the storm north of Cuba...whilethe UKMET and the Canadian have enough ridging in place to keep thestorm in the Caribbean Sea. The NHC forecast will split those twoideas and lies just to the west of the model consensus.
The initial vortex is still in its formative stages and it willprobably take some time to strengthen. However...Irene is movingover rather warm waters with light shear expected. Most of thereliable guidance brings the storm to a hurricane before reachingHispaniola...and the official forecast is in agreement with thisscenario. The intensity forecast in at day 3 and beyond is ratherchallenging due to the potential for land interaction. Althoughthe NHC forecast will show only a small amount ofre-intensification...environmental conditions could be quitefavorable for strengthening if Irene avoids significant landinteraction.
Based on the official forecast...tropical storm warnings have beenissued for many of the Leeward Islands...the Virgin Islands andPuerto Rico.
Note...this special advisory takes the place of the Standard 800 PMAST/0000 UTC intermediate public advisory. The next advisory willbe the full advisory package issued at 1100 PM AST/0300 UTC.
Forecast positions and Max winds
init 20/2300z 14.9n 58.5w 45 kt 50 mph 12h 21/0600z 15.4n 61.1w 45 kt 50 mph 24h 21/1800z 16.1n 64.4w 50 kt 60 mph 36h 22/0600z 16.7n 67.0w 55 kt 65 mph 48h 22/1800z 17.5n 69.6w 65 kt 75 mph 72h 23/1800z 19.0n 74.0w 45 kt 50 mph 96h 24/1800z 21.5n 77.0w 45 kt 50 mph120h 25/1800z 24.0n 79.5w 55 kt 65 mph
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"The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism...Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force."
from US Central Intelligence Agency 2008 Factbook
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:21 PM
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TS Irene threatens!

From NHC:
Irene is gradually becoming better organized in its appearance on satellite images...with curved bands becoming better defined. The current intensity is held at 45 kt in accordance with observations earlier this afternoon from the Air Force hurricane hunters. Another hurricane hunter plane is scheduled to investigate Irene around 0000 UTC. With a well-defined upper-level outflow anticyclone situated over the storm...the primary impediment to strengthening over the next couple of days should be land
interaction. If Irene moves over more of Hispaniola or over parts of eastern Cuba it will likely be weaker than indicated here...however if the system ends up moving to the north of both of those land masses it could strengthen more than expected. The official intensity forecast is somewhat higher than the latest lgem statistical-dynamical guidance.


The forward motion has slowed a bit and is now near 285/15. Irenecontinues to be steered by the flow on the south side of amid-level subtropical ridge over the western Atlantic. Thewest-northwestward motion is likely to continue for 1 to 2 dayswhich would bring the center near or over Puerto Rico...and near orover the Dominican Republic. Over the next few days...a couple oftroughs are forecast to create a weakness in the ridge near thesoutheast U.S. Coast which should induce a turn to the right aroundday 3. Several of the reliable track guidance models such as theECMWF and GFS have shifted eastward from their previous runs and sohas the dynamical consensus. The official track forecast has beenshifted a little to the right of that from the previous advisoryand lies on the western side of the guidance envelope. It isimportant not to focus on the exact forecast track...especially atdays 4 to 5 since the most recent 5-year average errors at thoseforecast times are 200 and 250 miles respectively.

We are presenting the 5-day forecast; please be aware of the margin of error.
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"The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism...Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force."
from US Central Intelligence Agency 2008 Factbook
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Moon Cottage View Post
Sammy-
YOU MEAN TOMORROW?
Yes, a hurricane before Irene hits the Dominican Republic on Monday, which will weaken it, and the strengthen again to a hurricane sometime before getting close to Miami. It will take a few days to affect the US coastlines. The Abacos looks OK right now except one should keep in mind that the north and east side of the storm has the most rain and wind, and Irene is a relatively big storm of 150 to 200 miles wide now.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:18 AM
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I found it

http://stormcarib.com/closest.htm
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:06 AM
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Track has shifted east on HURRICANE IRENE-batten down the hatches and keep an eye on this as it's not going to catch as much land as expected over the next 24 hours

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Old 08-22-2011, 10:34 AM
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Dora

http://www.jaxhistory.com/journal5.html

Panic...no way...prepare to lose power...h*ll yes. We're on a pretty fragile power grid, we lose power in a thunderstorm. Generator check. Batteries check. Gas for the grill check. Gas for chainsaw check. Last hurricane that came close we had no power for three and a half days and within three blocks of our house at least ten live oaks keeled over.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:11 AM
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Track is still shifting east.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:38 AM
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No reason to get all excited, folks. The news does like to create monster stories and fear because they know it sells. But for us coastal Joes and Janes, we just start getting our "hurricane plan" together, which none of us can remember but it's almost instinctual.

Like "are we stocked up on booze" and "honey have you seen the dog today?"

None of us really have a hurricane preparedness list, but we do automatically remember little things like to turn the A/C down as cold as it can get before the storm hits - if it hits. The point is to remain totally cool and we mean this literally!

Plus, this can be a festive time where one is allowed to eat junk food that is totally off your diet and quite possibly bad for you. For the girls, large chocolate candy bars go into the freezer for "hurricane preparation." Perfect sane, grown men lovingly fondle cans of Spam and say "hey why the heck not?"

When - and if - the wind gets up to the "Bibbety-Bibbety Level," it is probably high time to put up some scrap plywood on the old leaky window, or a door that doesn't close so good. This is fun to watch as men fly around the yard holding onto plywood over their heads, like deranged demons - remember the evil monkeys in the Wizard of Oz? You can tell from the smacking sounds if the hammer strikes home or if Bubba is in the bushes again.

Oh and mama remembers the cats, which curiously had never been part of your hurricane list. Men simply do not remember kitty things so do your duty, gals.

Aside from boat duty, it gets real boring after that. Boat duty means a six-pack of beer and looking at your waterborne steed, scratching select unmentionable parts of the bod and mumbling words like "hurricane hole," "ropes," or "yup." Somehow, the menfolk manage to communicate profound thoughts and get something - anything - done.

You can tell the ones with the most preparation because they've done everything, even found the stray dog, and are at the local bar before it too closes down - somehow we all know when it's the last call. How do we do that?

Be calm, y'all....
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:41 AM
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I just wanted to wish everyone safety in the coming days with this storm. We are in a drought of historic proportions in Texas right now and could have used the rain, but none of us around here have forgotten Ike's devastation. Y'all stay safe and hunker down.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:37 PM
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One item we learned to have the hard way after J is chain saw lubricant. We ran out and had to use the good old machete...now that's on our gotta have list!

Cheers -- SusieAndAl
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:38 PM
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I can hear people on the VHF trying to get their boats on land. They are boxing everything up at Nippers too. Now if I could just get the guests up at Dolphin Lookout to take this seriously and leave tomorrow! We need to get the shutters up and they want to leave Wednesday.
This looks like a serious storm to the Bahamas. Everyone here is boarding up the houses. Sidney and I have been running around all day, getting water, getting propane, diesel for the generator, canned goods. We know the boat, with our groceries isn't going to be here on Thursday, so the grocery store shelves are getting pretty empty.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by patw View Post
I can hear people on the VHF trying to get their boats on land. They are boxing everything up at Nippers too. Now if I could just get the guests up at Dolphin Lookout to take this seriously and leave tomorrow! We need to get the shutters up and they want to leave Wednesday.
This looks like a serious storm to the Bahamas. Everyone here is boarding up the houses. Sidney and I have been running around all day, getting water, getting propane, diesel for the generator, canned goods. We know the boat, with our groceries isn't going to be here on Thursday, so the grocery store shelves are getting pretty empty!
Why do the stores lower their shelves?

Last edited by patw; 08-22-2011 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:51 PM
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From Dr. Jeff Masters:
A trough of low pressure is expected to move across the Eastern U.S. on Wednesday and Thursday, turning Irene more to the northwest by Wednesday. The timing and strength of this trough varies considerably from model to model, and will be critical in determining where and when Irene will turn to the north. Irene's strength will also matter--a stronger Irene is more likely to turn northward earlier. The most popular solution among the models is to take Irene to the northwest through the Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday, then into the Southeast U.S. coast in South Carolina or North Carolina on Saturday. Irene would then travel up the mid-Atlantic coast, arriving near Long Island, New York on Monday morning as a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane. One of the models proposing this solution is our best model, the ECMWF. However, we have two other of our very good models suggesting a landfall near Miami on Thursday night is likely (the GFDL and UKMET models.) NHC forecaster Stacy Stewart gave some good reasons in this morning's discussion to favor a track close to the east coast of Florida, but just offshore. Last years' worst performing major the model, the NOGAPS, predicts that Irene will pass out to sea, missing the Southeast U.S. coast. Keep in mind that the average error of a 4-day forecast from NHC is 200 miles, and just a small deviation in the path of a storm moving roughly parallel to the coast will make a huge difference in where it ultimately makes landfall. The NOAA jet will be flying its first dropsonde mission into Irene today, which should result in a more reliable set of model runs first thing Tuesday morning.

Irene is embedded in a large envelope of moisture now, and wind shear is expected to remain low, 5 - 10 knots, for the next five days. With water temperatures very warm, 29 - 30°C, these conditions should allow for intensification except when land is interfering. Satellite loops show that Irene is steadily growing in size, which will protect the storm against major disruption by its passage along the north shore of Hispaniola today. The storm is lacking much development on its southwest side, where dry air is interfering with development. This dry air may help keep southern portions of the Dominican Republic and Haiti from receiving more than 3 - 6 inches of rain. There is at least a 30% chance that passage of the eye over Hispaniola will reduce Irene to a tropical storm tonight and into Tuesday. Due to Hispaniola blocking inflow of moist air from the south, Irene will likely compensate by building an even larger region of heavy thunderstorms to the north, offshore. Thus, when Irene's center finally moves well away from the coast on Tuesday, it will be a bigger storm, with the potential to spread hurricane conditions over a wider area later in the week when it intensifies. One limiting factor for intensification may be in the upper-level outflow pattern. The hurricane is lifting a huge amount of air from the surface to the upper atmosphere, and all that mass has to be efficiently transported away in order for the hurricane to intensify. Right now, upper level outflow is only well-established to the north and east, and the forecast outflow pattern for the coming five days is only moderately favorable. Overall, I think the official NHC forecast of a Category 3 hurricane by Thursday is the right one, though Irene could easily be a Category 2 or Category 4 storm.
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from US Central Intelligence Agency 2008 Factbook
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:04 PM
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I don't know why a visitor would want to stay here during a hurricane! We always lose power, no phones for sometimes a week or more, no internet, no food until the boat can get here. Hurricane Jeanne, the airport flooded and the roads were flooded in Marsh Harbour and sometimes, we have boats in the roads in Marsh Harbour!


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Hey Pat - just board them up right now. Hate to be mean, but that's how we do it down here.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:22 PM
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With each run, the models are trending Irene a little more to the east. It would be very fortuitous if Irene passed east of Abaco, as its strongest winds are on the north and east sides. The consensus, however, is bringing Irene across New Providence and Grand Bahama, thus exposing Abaco to Irene's NE quadrants. Let's all put our heads together and move this thing east!!!
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"The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism...Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force."
from US Central Intelligence Agency 2008 Factbook
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:19 PM
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showing your (mine too) age?

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Originally Posted by Beer Baron View Post
Come on, Irene
Oh, Track to the East
At this moment, that means EEEEVERYTHIIIIIINNNNNG

Come on, Irene, track to da east, come on...Irenem track to da east come on...

Best I got off the top of my head. Stay safe y'all

(in case ya missed it, read through that with "come on, Eileen" playing in your head)

I am thinking you have to be of a certain age to know that song but I am with you- love your rendition.
I am anxiously watching the weather channel and hope all the lovely people of the out islands are safe from the storm- as Jimmy B would say "been there, done that, got that t-shirt" and I know you all have too- sending prayers for your safety along with best regards- may Irene steer clear of you!
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:04 PM
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The calm before the storm

Look how calm the waters are.....Fishers Bay, Atlantic, and the Harbour.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:05 PM
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I remember a conversation we had with our taxi driver, Peter Burrows (a very sweet man who passed away last year), on our first trip to Abaco three years ago. We asked him where people in Abaco go when a hurricane is coming. There was a short pause, then he looked back at us with a quizzical expression on his face and said "home". Grit, perspective and self-reliance...kinda puts things in perspective...hopefully, Mother Nature will give them a break.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:25 PM
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scary scenario

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Old 08-23-2011, 03:47 AM
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Never could understand why any visitor would consider staying on an island for a Hurricane above a Cat 1. Our plan was always to prepare the houses and evict anyone who did not have the wisdom to lv on their own. Over the years I have been thanked when ceilings caved in where children could have been sleeping! Of the six Hurricanes I have been in, can't say any were "fun". Lots of stress in preparation and even when no damage occurs resources are strained and Residents exhaused. For any visitors still there who can get flights.. I urge you to do yourselves and your "Hosts" a favor and fly out. If the storm hits you will be very happy you did! We almost hate to see S Fl spared (our current home) at the expense of the Bahamas...then there is my 86 yr old mother in Wrightsville Beach....why oh why can't this storm just veer out to sea!!! Best wishes for those of you there and your safety!
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  #26  
Old 08-23-2011, 04:29 AM
Daddy - whats that fin?
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Second Treasure

The real problem is accuracy of forecasting. Within 2 days a direct Cat 5 hit can become
Topical storm near miss.

We have chartered on the northern Gulf coast and have visited the east coast for 20 years. We used to think the idea of experiencing a hurricane was good fun, something you don't get at home..... think again with Cat 2 and above.

We were in Pensicola the year before Katrina. The year afterwards the Hunter 36 ended up 1 mile inland during Pensicola.

Take any advice very seriously.

Good luck to everyone in The Abacos.
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  #27  
Old 08-23-2011, 08:15 AM
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BahamaAngie BahamaAngie is offline
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Location: Jersey shore, Toms River, NJ
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Good luck all...
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  #28  
Old 08-23-2011, 08:16 AM
Myra Myra is offline
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Join Date: Fri Jul 2007
Posts: 1,437
For all those concerned. We have determined that a CAT4 is too much for us. We are heading home 5:00 today. Please know our hearts are burdened with the knowledge that scary times may be coming but believe this is the best decision for us.
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  #29  
Old 08-23-2011, 08:34 AM
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Patti Puzo Patti Puzo is offline
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Location: Wild West
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Safe travels home Myra...
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  #30  
Old 08-23-2011, 08:44 AM
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patobx patobx is offline
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Join Date: Mon Oct 2007
Posts: 254
Oh Myra....I was thinking about you early this am knowing you were still there. Thankfully you had a few wks to enjoy your "paradise"! I would be making the same decision. God Willing this thing will spare the Abacos a direct hit. Be safe everyone.
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