Weather

Hurricane Irene Versus Floyd, Better Tracking Technology Today

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Hurricane Irene is following a path similar to Hurricane Floyd in 1999.  Floyd tore through the Bahamas and raked the eastern seaboard, triggering the third largest evacuation in U-S history.

If you lived on the First Coast, then you still remember that traffic jam. "The traffic from Floyd, oh my God, eight hours on the highway," Jacksonville resident Bernetta Lang remembered.

So if Irene is similar to Floyd, why no evacuations in Florida this time around?

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Big Business: Shrimpers in Brunswick Prepare for Hurricane Irene

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- There are endless nautical legends that give salty boat captains like Diane Adams clues about bad weather.

She was hustling Monday afternoon, filling her trawler with ice and rigging up.

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Adams said she wants to get one more drag in before Hurricane Irene gets close and makes it too rough for her crew.

"Hey, this is my livelihood," she said. "Right now with the price of shrimp so low and the cost of gas so high, I have to go whenever I can."

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But she said while it seems like madness, there is method to it. She's been around shrimp boats her whole life.

Hurricane Irene Now Category 2 Storm

MIAMI - Hurricane Irene has churned into a stronger Category 2 storm and has cut a destructive path through the Caribbean as it heads toward the U.S. coast.
 
Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday night that a hurricane hunter aircraft measured maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (155 kph).
 
The storm raked Puerto Rico with strong winds and rain. It is spinning just north of the Dominican Republic on a track that could carry it to the U.S. Southeast as a major storm by the end of the week.
 
The first hurricane of the Atlantic season was a large system. Irene is forecast to grow into a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph (184 kph) over the Bahamas on Thursday.
 

First Coast Crews Get Ready For Irene

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  City crews spent Monday cleaning out city drains, prepping them for possible heavy downpours from Irene.

MORE: Tracking the Tropics 

JEA also had crews around town trimming back tree limbs getting them ready for possible hurricane-force winds.

And down south in Clay County, dozens of computers are un-boxed and set up in the emergency operations center.

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"The order was given this morning....By the end of the day, be set up and fully functional in here at a moment's notice and staff notifications will start," said Chief Lorin Mock, Clay Fire and Rescue.

FWC urges boat owners to secure their vessels before storm hits

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) advises boat owners to secure their boats properly in advance of possible sustained heavy winds from Hurricane Irene.

Vessels that break free can cause problems to waterways by causing fuel and oil pollution, drifting into bridges, docks, seawalls and piers, and interfering with navigation.  In addition, the boats themselves can sustain damage.

Are Storm Surge Poles Reliable? Hurricane Experts Plan to Make Them More Accurate

Are Storm Surge Poles Reliable?  Hurricane Experts Plan to Make Them More Accurate

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  When a storm approaches, wind speed and water become concerns as a surge could cause the ocean and rivers to swell well beyond their banks.  

"There's an old adage, you can hide from the wind, but you have to run from the water," said Chief Martin Senterfitt, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

MORE: Watching the Tropics

With so much water surrounding the River City, storm surge poles in different areas indicate how high the water could get during a storm.

Emergency officials said they aren't as accurate as once thought. "The National Weather Service National Hurricane Center is working to come up with a new labeling system," said Senterfitt.

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Firestorm 2011 has a smoky choke-hold on area but relief on the way in the short and long-term!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yes, it certainly was like a never-ending severe weather cut-in during last night's weather casts. I showed one plume of smoke after another and at one point a dozen new wildfires were being tracked per hour on live doppler radar. I have never seen anything like it. I have been tracking weather all over the country for about 20 years at different media outlets and on my own since I was 4 years old drawing weather maps. I usually love weather extremes but I have put fires and smoke on the list with ice storms as my least favorite weather to track and forecast. The main thing yesterday like every day is keeping people safe and sticking to the basics. I got word out on the wind direction that may threaten neighborhoods. Luckily there were no big wind shifts and evacuations were minimal. Good for people, but bad for our lungs as the air quality went into the unhealthy range for sensitive groups.