It's a hurricane, not Armageddon. Good grief. A Category 1 storm, you'd think "Irene" was the worst storm America has ever endured. It will cause more problems along the East Coast, but it will be closer to a severe winter nor'easter than anything even remotely similar to Katrina in 2005. Low-lying areas from coastal Delaware to New Jersey, Long Island and metro New York City may flood, a storm surge of 2-4 feet possible. Friday night I heard some alleged "experts" talking about a 6-12 foot storm surge. Say what? That's just irresponsible (hype). Sometimes I think cable networks are more interested in showing off their reporters and weather toys than conveying some sense of perspective to viewers. Irene will be remembered at the Hype-a-cane of 2011.
Category 1 Hurricane. Keep in mind that Katrina (which got less air time - maybe because it was heading to Louisiana instead of the Capital of the World - New York City) was a Category 5 before it came ashore. Irene is a "1", and may hold together as a weak hurricane as it crossed N. Carolina and accelerates up the east coast. Radar at 3:06 pm.
Perspective. Yes, maybe I won't whine about the light showers near Little Falls. NWS Doppler at 3:08 pm - most of the showers passing north of the MSP metro area.
PM Clouds. A weak upper air disturbance will mean more clouds than sun into the evening hours - some partial clearing possible by evening, especially west of St. Cloud and Willmar. Although a shower or sprinkle can't be ruled out - most of the PM hours should be dry.
Hurricane of Hype
Everyone wants to err on the side of caution and keeping people safe. I get that. But some of the stuff I heard Friday night on the national media made me a little crazy. An 8-12 ft. storm surge at New York Harbor? Not even close. "Storm of the Century?" Nope. The result? "Weather "experts" are crying wolf!" Apathy sets in, which could be tragic the next time a (real) monster-storm churns up the East Coast.
And can we stop with the reporters on the beach, reminding us that it's windy? They urge viewers to evacuate, yet there they are, clinging to light poles, incoherent above the wailing winds.
Any hurricane is a big deal, but Irene hits Long Island today as a Category 1 storm, capable of a 2-4 foot storm surge in New York Harbor. Expect lowland flooding, but this will NOT be the "Big One".
Meanwhile, back here in (hurricane-free) fly-over country a pretty nice Sunday is shaping up: partly sunny with only an isolated T-shower. More numerous T-storms are possible late Monday into midweek as temperatures mellow into the 80s. No all-day rains in sight, no 90s looking out 2 weeks.
Summer is mellowing nicely; the worst of the heat, humidity & severe storms behind us.