7 AM Update Irene remains a tropical depression, and may still hold that today. When a storm is this weak, the baroclinic models tend to do better (ala bamm, bamd, etc) so the westward trend may continue. The edge of the cone is approaching the North Carolina coast, but travels all the way down to Florida and still can support the recurve to sea. In other words, in perspective, the storm is still a depression, but is now on the watch list for the East coast of the United States.
Original Update Irene, still a weak depression, has survived it's bout of almost falling apart. Giving time for the situation ahead of it to change. Irene will stay north of the Caribbean islands.
The future track has trended toward the west, and it has persisted a bit. Some of the models have fallen in suit, therefor the call of "Out to Sea" is no longer a good call to make. Currently, the most likely track is out to sea, or near Bermuda. But if the current trends persist that could change as well. The "cone of error" will be very large a few days out, which means it's worth watching again for the east coast.
Originally I expected Irene to gain a bit of strength, it never did, and now it's finally emerging from the more hostile situation, aka the bad shear zone, it encountered, slightly further west. It has the chance to become a hurricane in a few days as conditions gradually improve for it. Now it's poised to become a tropical storm by sometime tomorrow.
So beyond a few days, the current forecast track is really complex right now. That's the best way to put it. I'm still finding plenty of ways to keep Irene off the coast, but not as many as even yesterday, but a fair amount. What worries me most is the ridging forecast by some models toward the north, which could force it more west.
So basically, the "all clear" I mentioned in the last update is brought down (always watch the tropics!), and it's now more of a wait and see. If it were to affect land, it is more likely for the Carolinas and points north, but assuming the ridging changes, even further south is still possible. Recurve still remains even higher, assuming Irene can hold together. For Florida, the chance of Irene affecting us is very low, in fact other than watching for trends, I would almost rule it out. The chances grow higher as you get further north, and highest out to sea.
More will be coming as we learn it, but we'll keep watching it to see how the trends persist over the next few days. It's important to note, that Irene still may not survive. It is only a depression at the moment.
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