Have a look for yourself, but it appears that what was once Hurricane IRENE is now apparently Tropical Storm IRENE, according to live online weather stations around the immediate vicinity of North Carolina where it is sliding up the Atlantic coast.
A site called, WunderMap, is a great resource for observing all sorts of live weather data. Move around the country, find IRENE, and each weather station is indicated and can be individually clicked-on to discover other data such as wind speed. The maximum wind speed that I observe at this moment is 51 mph just northeast of it’s apparent center of rotation, while the average sustained winds appear in the proximity of 40 mph or less.
Not saying that the situation is no longer dangerous, and this is only an opinion based on observations, but I am observing that the massive media hype appears to be overblown (as usual) and could potentially be scaring folks beyond what is reasonable. Once you’ve cried ‘wolf’ too many times, you lose your credibility. It appears it is happening once again given the wall-to-wall coverage of the main-stream.
Again, not downplaying the potential for big problems, especially from downed trees from saturated soil (it won’t take too much wind to blow down lots of these trees), all of which will certainly cause lots of power outages. A prolonged power outage is a serious situation, particularly for those who aren’t prepared for it.
So, in summary, stay alert, don’t buy-in to all the hype, stay calm, and look at the data for yourself. Buy by all means, stay prepared!
Also, don’t shoot the messenger… look at the data for yourself! It’s actually good news!
By the way, a Category 1 hurricane has wind speeds of 74 – 95 mph. A tropical storm has wind speeds of 39 – 73 mph.
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