Hurricane Irene


Hurricane Irene orginated from a broad area of low pressure in the southwest Caribbean. The low gradually became better organized over a period of several days and a tropical depression formed on the 13th. Tropical storm strength was reached later that day with the center about 230 miles south of the Isle of Youths Cuba. Irene moved north, then north-northeast, making landfall on the Isle of Youth on the 14th. The center of Irene continued north-northeast over western Cuba and into the Florida Straits and post analysis indicates that Irene became a hurricane around this time. The center passed over Key West Florida early on the 15th. At this time, most of the hurricane force winds were east of the center and the lower to middle Florida Keys. Later that day the center made landfall on the Florida peninsula near Flamingo and moved across southeast Florida. Torrential rains, with accumulations of 10 to 20 inches, and winds to tropical storm force were experienced over mainland Florida, with hurricane force winds confined to squalls off the Florida east coast. The center of Irene moved offshore near Jupiter Florida later on the 15th. It retained hurricane strength as it moved north parallel to the Florida coast. Irene then turned and accelerated to the northeast just east of the North Carolina Outer Banks early on the 18th. After passing the Outer Banks, Irene rapidly intensified and reached a peak intensity of 105 mph on the 18th. Irene continued northeast and was absorbed by an extratropical low on the 19th.


The following preliminary information is for southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina:

Highest Winds:
    Wilmington International Airport:
        2 minute sustained wind - 32 mph at 11:42 PM on the 17th
        peak gust - 38 mph at 11:44 PM on the 17th

    Myrtle Beach International Airport:
        2 minute sustained wind - 22 mph at 1:55 AM on the 17th
        peak gust - 32 mph at 7:50 PM on the 17th

    North Myrtle Beach Airport:
        2 minute sustained wind - 23 mph at 4:02 AM on the 17th
        peak gust - 29 mph at 2:54 PM on the 17th

    Florence Airport:
        2 minute sustained wind - 24 mph at 2:55 PM on the 17th
        peak gust - 30 mph at 1:37 AM on the 17th

    Lumberton Airport:
        2 minute sustained wind - 28 mph at 2:47 PM on the 17th
        peak gust - 34 mph at 2:46 PM on the 17th

    Frying Pan Shoals Tower:
        10 minute sustained wind - 56 mph at 6:50 PM on the 17th
        peak gust - 70 mph at 8:00 PM on the 17th

    Other wind reports

Lowest Pressure:
    Wilmington International Airport - 994.6 mb at 10:02 PM on the 17th
    Myrtle Beach International Airport -  994.9 mb at 5:45 PM on the 17th
    North Myrtle Beach Airport - 994.9 mb at 6:44 PM on the 17th
    Florence Airport - 998.7 mb at 4:51 PM on the 17th
    Lumberton Airport - 999.7 mb at 7:01 PM on the 17th

Rainfall:
    Wilmington Internation Airport - 2.86 inches
    North Myrtle Beach Airport - 4.15 inches
    Florence Airport - 2.67 inches
    Lumberton Airport - 4.63 inches

    Other rainfall reports

Storm tides:
    Estimated 1 to 2 feet above normal. Possibly 3 feet above normal on south facing beaches of Brunswick and New Hanover counties.

Beach erosion:
    Overwash occurred at Floyd-Stricken Oak Island, causing moderate erosion to bulldozed dunes built after Floyd. Minor overwash occurred at the north end of Carolina Beach in New Hanover county, where Canal Drive was flooded on the sound side.


Radar and satellite images are available for veiwing along with data plots for the Wilmington, North Myrtle Beach and Lumberton airports* and Frying Pan Shoals Tower. To view a larger version of the images, click on the small image of interest or the text next to it.  Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the radar or satellite images should contact the National Climatic Data Center.


Data Plots

Winds at Wilmington Airport Pressure at Wilmington Airport
Rainfall at Wilmington Airport Winds at North Myrtle Beach Airport
Pressure at North Myrtle Beach Airport Rainfall at North Myrtle Beach Airport
Winds at Lumberton Airport Pressure at Lumberton Airport
Rainfall at Lumberton Airport Winds at Frying Pan Shoals Tower
Pressure at Frying Pan Shoals Tower Sea Heights at Frying Pan Shoals Tower
Map of Irene's Track List of Coordinates
Four Day Rainfall Totals River Flooding Crests

Data for the plots was taken from hourly observations. Because of this, highest and lowest information listed above may not be displayed on the the plots. Highest and and lowest information noted on the plots is only for the data used in the plots.

Satellite Image Loop

satellite image

Long Loop from 10/13 through 10/18/1999 Short Loop from 10/13 through 10/18/1999

Radar Images

radar image

Radar Loop from 1 PM through 11 PM 10/17/1999

Velocity Images

10/17 6:00 PM 10/17 6:55 PM
10/17 8:01 PM 10/17 9:01 PM

 

Radar Estimates of Rainfall


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Page created November 1, 1999