Monday, August 22, 2011

Warning to Ports as Hurricane Irene Closes on US and Caribbean

Airports Closing Whilst Vessels Should Avoid the Area
Shipping News Feature

US – CARIBBEAN - Hurricane warnings are in place for parts of the Caribbean and the US as Hurricane Irene approaches. The storm is expected to hit the Turk and Caicos Island first and airports there are scheduled to close fro 21:00 hours on the 22nd August. Experts predict the storm will alight on the Florida coastline on the 25th August and freight and other vessels in the area should monitor her progress via the US National Hurricane Centre website and local reports.

Hurricane Irene will pass over the north coastal regions of the Dominican Republic and Haiti during 22nd and 23rd August, with strong winds and heavy rain affecting neighbouring regions. The storm is also scheduled to hit the Bahamas on the same days before moving toward the US.

NASA is tracking Irene via the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite which passed over Irene when it was a tropical storm today 00:24Hours UTC (8:24 p.m. EDT August 20th). Data collected with this orbit showed that Irene contained numerous powerful thunderstorms with TRMM's Precipitation Radar (PR) revealing that some thunderstorm towers near the centre of the storm were reaching to heights above 15 kilometres. These ‘hot towers’ are described as such because they rise to such altitude due to the large amount of latent heat. Water vapour releases this latent heat as it condenses into liquid.

Photo: Showing the ‘hot towers’ in red. Courtesy of NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce