As of 5pm Tuesday, Hurricane Irene was north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, moving toward the US mainland. Irene may hit the NYC metro area or New England somewhere around Sunday, so *NOW* is a good time to check your plans for dealing with storms.
Coastal areas: Sunday will have higher-than-normal tides just because Sunday night is a new moon (the Sun and Moon pulling in the same direction) and a closer moon than normal.
Forecasting where Irene will hit, five days in advance, is really sketchy. The computer models (see sites listed below) are forecasting a significant to major hurricane to make landfall in New Jersey and central Long Island. Some models were pushing the storm further out to sea, but while that may still happen, the trend that was drifting the track further out to sea has stopped for now and Irene may hit (and hit hard) in the Carolinas before coming here. Don’t wait! There may be only 18 hours or less between landfall in the Carolinas and horrible conditions occurring here.
Be ready to deal with those places where you’ve had flooding in major storms. Make sure tree limbs over your house are strong or take them down. Get your emergency supplies for an extended period without electric power. A major hurricane hitting our area can result in power outages of over one week. Check and see if your elderly neighbors are ready. Even if Irene misses us, you’ll be ready for the next hurricane or winter storm.
Good sites to get informed about the storm that include maps of modeled storm forecast tracks:
The National Hurricane Center
On TV: The Weather Channel