Hi everyone. Just a quick update on Irene. Over the past day, Irene has actually decreased in intensity. She is only a category 2 storm at the moment, with 100 mph maximum sustained winds. She is expected to cross over Cape Hatteras and head up into NJ as a strong category 1. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the whole Jersey coast. I would still expect wind gusts to head close to 100 mph at the shore and near 80 mph in the Philadelphia region.
The timetable has been pushed up a bit. I expect the rain to start tomorrow mid-afternoon in the form of a few scattered thunderstorms. By tomorrow night, the rain and wind will pick up. Sunday morning will be the climax of the storm, where the wind gusts will reach hurricane force. By Sunday afternoon, the rain will start to pull out and some sun may even peek through the clouds by the evening.
Because so many trees will fall during the storm, widespread power outages will occur (especially down the shore and in the suburbs) and last for days in some cases. If you still haven’t stocked up with batteries and non-perishable food, please go tomorrow morning and pick these objects up.
Be safe, Jason