Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene Moves into Northeast Mountains

Tropical Storm Irene has left the mid-Atlantic states behind and is now moving into northeast mountain country.  Her rain shield now covers the Catskills, Adirondacks, Green Mountains, White Mountains, and Western Mountains of Maine.

Source: NCAR/RAL
Reports from surface weather stations in those regions shows moderate to heavy rain, as indicated by the three and four dot symbols in the plot below.

Source: NCAR/RAL
Most surface stations are in valley locations, so getting a handle on ridge top winds is difficult.  The sounding this morning from Chatham, Massachusetts showed strong low-level wind shear with 20 knot winds at the surface and 50+ knots immediately aloft.

Winds at the Mount Washington observatory have just started to pick up, and are with a recent gust to 68 miles per hour, a light breeze by their standards!

Source: University of Utah/MesoWest
I suspect, however, that stronger winds are to come and that there's going to be some areas of blowdown and possibly landslides, as discussed in an earlier post.  Let's hope the damage is minimal, although northeast skiers might be hoping for a landslide or two to open up some good backcountry ski terrain...

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