Posted at 8:49 AM on August 24, 2011
by Paul Huttner
Filed under: Hurricanes
How do you spell relief?
The first of a series of Canadian cool fronts slipped through Minnesota overnight.
The front silently but dramatically dropped dew points. The dew point at MSP Airport plunged from a tropical 72 at 4am, to a comfy 59 by 7am...a 13 degree drop in just 3 hours!
Temperatures will still reach to 80s today behind the front in southern Minnesota, but it looks like we've seen our last sticky 70 degree dew point for about a week.
Winds whip up:
We're feeling the result of "atmospheric momentum" and "mix-down" today across Minnesota. These abstract weather concepts are producing the wind you feel on your face today.
A strong pressure gradient at between 5 and 10 thousand feet today will "mix-down" to the surface as the sun heats the lower atmosphere today. This "transfer of atmospheric momentum" will result in gusty NW winds between 15 and 30 mph at times.
Expect white caps on Minnesota lakes today. In fact, the strong persistent NW winds could produce some big waves on the larger lakes today. How about some 3-5 footers on the SE shore of Mille Lacs?
Be careful on the bigger lakes today!
Category 3 Irene: A growing threat to NYC & Boston?
Speaking of wind, Irene has intensified as expected into a Category 3 hurricane.
Here are the stats as of Wednesday morning as Irene lashes the Bahamas.
HURRICANE IRENE INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 16A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092011
800 AM EDT WED AUG 24 2011
...IRENE BECOMES A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE....EYE HEADED FOR THE
CROOKED AND ACKLINS ISLANDS...
SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 55 MI...85 KM SE OF ACKLINS ISLAND BAHAMAS
ABOUT 335 MI...540 KM SE OF NASSAU
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...115 MPH...185 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 9 MPH...15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...957 MB...28.26 INCHES
Irene is forecast to reach a peak intensity of 125 mph in the next 48 hours.
The latest model tracks shift Irene to the east again, and indicate the most dangerous center and right side of the hurricane may pass just offshore of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Still I expect to see Jim Cantore getting sand blasted as the storm races by the Outer Banks Sunday.
The suite of models then takes a Category 1 Irene dangerously close to NYC, over the eastern tip of Long Island, and straight into the Boston metro and Cape Cod.
It's still too early to say what kind of damage could result in the major cities of the northeast, but Irene may yet deal a blow to a major metropolitan area.