Archive for August 25th, 2011|Daily archive page

Clouds From Irene Over Citrus County, Florida

I was out pulling weeds around 8 pm EDT at my home in Citrus County, Florida when I saw cirrus clouds moving along at a fairly good clip.  After taking a few quick photographs, I went to my computer to confirm what I suspected I was seeing.  I consulted both an up-to-date satellite visible loop and an infrared loop.  Sure enough, the cirrus I was observing marked the outermost segment of an outflow band from hurricane Irene.

Here is a photo as I faced the WSW.    (The gray clouds are little fracto-cumulus at a much lower altitude than the very high cirrus).


The graphic below shows the general direction of movement of both the inflow and the outflow of a hurricane in the northern hemisphere.  This particular one is hurricane Ike of 2008.


When the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast model is running, here is my favorite site for viewing:

For a lot of different reasons, but mainly because I enjoy the insights of Dr. Jeff Masters in his weather blog, I use  For future reference, a link to his blog is under the Blogroll category at the right margin of this page.  In fact, it’s the first listed.

For the ECMWF Model Run, click on the following link and then follow my instructions exactly:  NOTE:  YOU MIGHT WANT TO COPY THE INSTRUCTIONS BECAUSE ONCE YOU CLICK ON THE LINK THIS PAGE WILL BE GONE UNLESS YOU CLICK BACK –

  1. At the upper left of the image, click on the “continent” tab.
  2. Scroll down the menu on the right margin and click in the box labeled “model data”.
  3. Another menu dropped down. Click on the “model” arrow and select ECMWF.
  4. Make sure the “map type” remains on MSL which stands for “mean sea level.”
  5. Click on the “forecast” arrow and wait patiently for the load.
  6. After it has loaded fully it should loop. If you want it to stop click on the button at “forecast.”

Though the European Model is not always right (none of them are) it has done the best job for the last two years in situations akin to this one with hurricane Irene.  The National Weather Service gives credence to this model though you will not see it indicated on the official spaghetti charts and such.  In fact, lately, the NWS official forecasts have been close to that of the ECMWF model runs or, if you please, the ECMWF model runs have been close to the official forecasts of the NWS.  To be sure, there will be times when there is little agreement – at which time I expect to lean toward the NWS advisories.