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Hurricane Irene: Two Years Ago Today

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Today marks the 2-year anniversary of one of the most destructive storms to affect central Virginia in recent memory.  The eye of Irene stayed just off the coast of Virginia as the storm was a category 1 hurricane, but wind gusts nearly reached hurricane strength in Richmond, measuring 71 mph in two different locations.  The winds would not have been as strong in central Virginia, had it not been for the tightened pressure gradient that resulted from an approaching cold front.  The zone of strongest winds, indicated by the yellow area, coincided with the strongest pressure gradient.  Wind blows because of differences in pressure, and the pressure is indicated by the lines on the graphic called isobars.  The closer the lines of equal pressure are located to each other, the stronger the wind speeds.
The graphic below highlights a few of the stats that made Irene such a significant storm.  By contrast, the Atlantic Basin today is very quiet today, with only a very minor disturbance between Cuba and south Florida.
Stay With CBS 6, We’ll Keep You Ahead of the Storm.-Zach
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