[MOST CURRENT UPDATE APPEARS AT BOTTOM OF POST]
When I lived in Naples, Florida I was an announcer at WNOG (Bright and chipper: "This is Stephen B. and you're tuned the 'Nogger. News and weather next, then Major League Baseball live from...") and WCVU-FM (Slow, deliberate, warm: "This is W-C-V-U, Sea-view, covering Naples, Ft. Meyers, and Marco Island. And, now the Wall Street Journal Report...")
I rode out several hurricane near-hits during my time there. The radio stations were owned by Palmer Broadcasting and were in a building that also housed the cable tv operations for much of the south Gulf Coast of Florida.
The building was as built to be as hurricane proof as was possible at the time. There were emergency generators worthy of a major city hospital. There were few windows and they were only 12 or 14 inches wide and 3 feet tall. No huge sheets of glass. It had a kitchen and a number of rooms that could be turned into dormitories. Twice in two years I went home after my shift, packed a suitcase, and moved into the station for the duration.
The building was about 2 blocks from the Gulf of Mexico; the transmitter towers were situated miles inland. The radio signals were also carried on the cable tv system. It was a pretty slick package. I was young and bunking with fellow workers was fun.
Now, living in Baltimore, with Hurricane Irene approaching things are a tad bit different. I live on the top floor of a high rise. We have windows that are 50x27 inches. We have 15 of them facing South, East, and, North. That's 1687.5 square-feet of glass in just a few rooms. The pantry, our safe room, and the liquor closet are, as always, are fully stocked.
I'll keep you posted right here from our perch in the cat bird's seat.
And, I'll put all of the Baltimore 21201 Hurricane Irene updates in this post - check back as the weekend and the big woman approach..
UPDATE 8/25/11-1600 EST
Weather Channel: Major Hurricane Irene poses an extraordinary threat and is one that no one has yet experienced from North Carolina to the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast to New England.
Mayor's office of Emergency Management: Hazard Overview: Hurricanes, Storms, And Flooding In Baltimore you may input your address to see if you are in a dangerous flood area
UPDATE 8/25/11-1700 EST
First of all--and this is important--I'm not a weatherman and I'm not giving advice or providing breaking news on this blog. I won't be updating on a regular basis. This ongoing post will document the hurricane as Jacob and I witness it. I will attempt to add links to other trusted sources. Please use local and national media for immediate updates, conditions and advisories. Be prepared and be safe.
NOAA, NHC 5PM tracking update - Hazardous conditions can occur outside of the cone
National Hurricane Center - Hurricane Basics and More (Best Info)
Los Angeles Times - Hurricane Irene: As many as 200,000 evacuate in North Carolina
Stay tuned for our Baltimore, Brockelman, Bouknight, and Irene Saga as it unfolds.
UPDATE 8/26/11-0700 EST
DelmarvaNow.Com - An insistent evacuation of Ocean City began at midnight
WBAL TV - InstaWeather Plus
PEPCO - Urging customers to prepare
Baltimore Sun - Hurricane Planning: Remember the Pets
Jojo and Reagan - "Hurricane Tip #34: Red wine does not need refrigeration."
National Weather Service - Baltimore / Washington Statement
Handy Hurricane Contacts for Baltimore 21201
Fresh & Green's Grocery Store
222 N Charles 410-454-0157
Peking House Chinese Delivery
11 E Baltimore 410-593-8183
Walgreen's Drug Store
19 E Fayette 410-625-1817
Rite Aid Drug Store
301 W Lexington 410-727-1108
Unban Cellars Liquor Store
222 N Charles 410-528-8088
Report Power Outage
Cable and Internet
410-649-9000 and @comcastcares
UPDATE 8/26/11-1100 EST
There's a terrific, interactive map of Hurricane Irene on Google. Give it a try, it's a good one and it gets updated often.
NBC New York - Hurricane Evacuations Begin in NY, NJ
UPDATE 8/26/11-1300 EST
The White House - Survival Tips
Maryland Zoo - Closed on Sunday
AccuWeather - Irene: Worst Effects on Northeast in 50 Years Possible
WBAL TV - Cruise Ship Speeds to Port in Baltimore
Maryland Traffic Cameras - Live Baltimore
WJZ TV - Interactive Tropical Tracker
A Message from Gov Martin O'Malley
Look at the size of Hurricane Irene. Irene, she's a big girl!
UPDATE 8/26/11-1700 EST
New Links - New News
Baltimore Farmers' Market Downtown canceled for Sunday.
Baltimore Sun - Interactive Map, Cone of Probability
Fresh & Green's Grocery Store on Charles Fully Stocked at 1900 EST
Gov O'Malley - Check out this new crowd-sourcing tool we're using as another info source for Irene
@MikeMakes - Baltimore Flood Zones overlay on Baltimore Map
Washington Post - JetBlue cancels 880 flights so far
NASA - Hurricane Irene, Extreme detail image
And a reminder, for all Hurricane Info for Annapolis, follow @eyeonannapolis on Twitter and Eye on Annapolis online.
UPDATE 8/27/11-0730 EST
ODE TO A STORM, OLD IRENE
Old Irene, she ain't what she used to be,
Ain't what she used to be, Ain't what she used to be,
Old Irene, she ain't what she used to be,
Many short hours ago.
Downgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane overnight, the old girl still packs a kick or two.
At the Inner Harbor, 0654 EST:
2011.08.27 1054 UTC
Temperature 79.0 F (26.1 C)
Dew Point 73.0 F (22.8 C)
Relative Humidity 82%
Pressure (altimeter) 29.81 in. Hg (1009 hPa)
ob KDMH 271054Z AUTO 26/23 A2981 RMK AO2 SLP095 T02610228 PWINO TSNO
A little sultry outside? Oh yeah. Stay tuned, I'll have much more later.
UPDATE 8/27/11-1130 EST
Fascinating video from NASA and the International Space Station.
Video Details from NASA:
Cameras mounted on the International Space Station captured new views of Hurricane Irene at 4:27 p.m. EDT on August 26, 2011 as the storm bore down on the east coast of the United States.
Accompanied by narration from Expedition 28 Flight Engineer Mike Fossum of NASA, the video showed the massive system moving north at 14 miles an hour packing winds of 100 miles an hour some 300 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Irene is expected to track to the northeast along the mid-Atlantic states, the metropolitan New York-New Jersey region and New England this weekend before heading out over the north Atlantic.
NY Times - With Storm Near, 370,000 in City Get Evacuation Order
National Hurricane Center:
AT 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE IRENE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 35.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 76.4 WEST. IRENE IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHEAST NEAR 15 MPH...24 KM/H...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF IRENE WILL MOVE ACROSS NORTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA THIS AFTERNOON. THE HURRICANE IS FORECAST TO MOVE NEAR OR OVER THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST TONIGHT AND MOVE OVER SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND ON SUNDAY.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS REMAIN NEAR 85 MPH...140 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
IRENE IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SLIGHT WEAKENING IS FORECAST AS IRENE CROSSES EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA...BUT IRENE IS FORECAST TO REMAIN NEAR HURRICANE STRENGTH AS IT MOVES NEAR OR OVER THE MID-ATLANTIC STATE SAND APPROACHES NEW ENGLAND.
IRENE IS A LARGE TROPICAL CYCLONE. HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 90 MILES...150 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 260 MILES...415 KM. A WIND GUST TO 87 MPH WAS RECENTLY MEASURED AT CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA. NORFOLK NAVAL AIR STATION RECENTLY REPORTED A WIND GUST TO 63 MPH.
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 952 MB...28.11 INCHES.
More to come later. Stay tuned.
UPDATE 8/27/11-1900 EST
Back in the Saddle Again (and yet another reason Why I Hate Microsoft).
Around 11 AM I started to capture a time lapse video of the clouds preceding Hurricane Irene blowing into town. I'd planned for the video to cover the span from morning until well after dark.
Anticipating a long night, I crawled into bed about 3 PM to take a nap and what did I find on the screen of the laptop just now:
"Windows installed new updates - Windows restarted your computer..."
You can take it from there.
No great harm done, except for the Hurricane Irene lyrics that I'd written to the tune of Sinatra's "Summer Wind." The lyrics were on notepad for easy blog posting; they're gone.
Since the Irene Affair is developing more as a wind and rain event than a full-fledged hurricane, more than a full-fledged storm, I'll take a slightly different approach to this messy night. Catch you all in a few...
UPDATE 8/27/11-2045 EST
So far, and using Steve Kilar's word, it's a "moist" night and that's about all it is. In Baltimore, we haven't even had a decent gust of wind.
I'm entertaining myself with the Tweets of my social media friends. They are just the best. Here's a peek at the posts:
@JohnMilleker: Dear #HurricaneIrene, if you must damage ANYTHING in @OCMaryland, you can take Dippin' Dots. Love, me.
@RyanE1984: PLUS, if my usual blow out is ruined, there better be a damn good reason. This itty bitty rain is not a good excuse to ruin my hair. #oy
@JohnMilleker: Time for a inner perimeter/basement spot check, if I'm not back in ten minutes I probably stopped off at the beer fridge. #Irene
@thomasbeller: Was lovely wandering Broadway today. "It's like wartime," said play-write David Ives. "Everyone knows it's coming but it's not here yet."
@stevekilar: #MDHurricane Irene has breached the Hilton ocean city -- the carpet around my sliding glass balcony door is moist!
@TonyDeFranco: The weather conditions in Federal Hill are currently fratty.
@kellycollect: Rare and retired Precious Moments figurines bit.ly/9P0lkL
@make_lemons: Set your alarms RT @andersoncooper Planning to go live at 6am Sunday from NYC covering #Irene.
@CharmCityBarfly: Hi everyone. You LOSE power. Your mama is LOOSE. See the difference? For the love of God. Use the proper word.
@BriHoffman: im bored so far... #hurricane #Irene
@Seth_Fried: If your apartment is hit by a dolphin, DO NOT GO OUT TO SEE IF THE DOLPHIN IS OKAY. That's how the hurricane tricks you into coming outside.
@insidecharmcity: Jayne Miller of WBAL having a bunch of drunks photobombing her live shot from Fells Point #mdhurricane
I love you people. I love you all.
Stay tuned. We may get a breeze later. I'll report.
UPDATE 8/27/11-2245 EST
The empirical end to this long and uneventful post comes from my dear friend, Andrea Snyder. This performance says it all, and says it better than I ever could.
Good Night, Irene
Video description via YouTube:
That's all folks. G'night all. And, G'night Irene.