Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Irene Pounds the Bahamas

Hurricane Irene pounds the Bahamas with 120MPH winds. Image source:

Hurricane Irene is strengthening as it crosses the Bahamas. The NHC reports that maximum sustained winds are now up to 120MPH, and it is possible that Irene will become a Category 4 hurricane, with winds exceeding 130MPH, according to the NHC.

SURGEDAT has identified 5 storm surge events in the Bahamas since 1880. Hurricane Andrew (1992) produced the highest surge in our database, a 4.88 m (16 ft) surge on Lower Bogue. Andrew was a Category 5 storm, packing winds as high as 172 MPH as it approached the Bahamas. (data source:

Irene is beginning to elevate sea levels along the East Coast of Florida and the Florida Keys. As of this afternoon, sea levels were about one-half foot above normal at Lake Worth Pier and over one foot above normal at times on Vaca Key, according to NOAA Tides and Currents.

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