NWS: Maybe no landfall in Md. for Irene
Well, it sure felt like a hurricane struck Maryland last night, but Steve Zubrick, science officer at the National Weather Service's regional forecast office in Sterling, Va. says maybe not, officially.
I asked him whether Irene's visit in Maryland last night qualified as a hurricane landfall in the state. That would be huge news, because the National Hurricane Center currently recognizes just one - in all the time they've been keeping records - as a Maryland landfall. (We're checking to verify which one that was.)
Here's what Steve said:
"We'll have to check on the historic record of landfalls in Maryland. However, preliminary thinking is that Irene's center did not make landfall in MD.
"The definition says that the center of circulation (eye) of the system has to cross the coastline...and preliminary indications are that the center of Irene stayed offshore of MD.
"Later assessments might change that view, but for now, be aware that the NWS has not recognized landfall of Irene in MD, even though there were certainly impacts (see our latest Public Info Statement product for details).
"The NWS so far is recognizing [two] landfalls for Irene, one in North Caroline near Cape Lookout on Sat. morning; the other at Little Egg ... Inlet in NJ earlier today (Sunday)."