Will we get slammed by the first hurricane of the season that appears to be headed our way? Doesn't look like it. But then again...
Irene will get stronger. Forecasters thought yesterday it would hit Haiti and slow down a bunch. But it now appears that after Puerto Rico, it will likely skirt the north end of the island. That means it'll be over water, and in four days, that translates to 100 mph winds. We are talking a BIG 'cane. Then it'll head our way until a tropical ridge weakens and the storm turns north.
Or maybe not. At the bottom of the latest update, forecaster Stewart notes that he and his kind don't know what in hell they are talking about when it comes to four days or so out. When you get four days out, the central forecast track was 200 miles off on average for four days and 250 for five days, he writes.
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That means that although the track shows the hurricane to be headed in our direction (or maybe just east of us), these guys don't know where it will be Thursday, when the storm is expected to pass our way. On average, it could be anywhere from east of the Bahamas to west of Naples.
How much money do we spend on the National Hurricane Center? NOAA spends $300 million per year on hurricane research. And at least until recently, those budgets have been increasing.
More updates to come as the damn thing turns north and moves away from us.