Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane diary 1 - Rain band 1

kw: current events, observations, weather, hurricanes

This crop from the Intellicast interactive radar image shows the situation just after the first rain band north of Hurricane Irene passed our area, which is just south of the P in Philadelphia. We had rain from about 2:00 until 3:30 PM.

A glance at the birdbath, which was emptied at Noon, shows a half inch. Its bowl is flat bottomed and the sides are straight, so that is a real half inch. Just a foretaste of what is to come.

The storm's eye is overland in easternmost North Carolina. Its closest approach to the Philadelphia area is expected about 3:00 AM tomorrow morning. If the rain signature of the storm remains the same, the hardest rain will have already fallen by then.

The worry will be the strong winds, with increased impact because of the rain they carry. We're expecting 50 mph (80 kph) steady, with gusts in the 60-70 (95-110) range. Our three big trees are all south of the house, and the winds will be out of the north and northwest, which makes me most concerned for my neighbors.

We have plenty of water and some imperishable foods, so we're ready for at least a couple days without power if it comes to that. We put one car in the garage and moved the other to the end of the driveway farthest from all trees. Tomorrow morning's church meetings are cancelled. Many of our congregants drive 20-40 minutes to get there, and driving might be rather hazardous if there is a lot of wind damage such as downed trees and power lines.

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