I just started to notice some pretty ominous looking clouds rolling in. They are still white and puffy, but they're big and there are a lot of them. There is a very slight gusty breeze blowing the leaves on the trees. Calm before the storm.
Though Irene is supposed to hit land about 150 miles east of us, the effects of the storm are more than 250 miles wide. In addition to that, Hurricane Fran (2006) was forecast much in the same way that Irene is... hit the coast and move off northeast. Only Fran decided to change course at the last minute and ran right over Raleigh. Of course no two storms are the same and Irene is going to do what she wants to do... my point is that even though we aren't supposed to get a big impact from Irene, things could change. We're prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best.
The National Weather Service just issued a Wind Advisory for this area starting at 6a tomorrow. We're expecting 40+ mile per hour winds and rain all day. I've moved all of the deck furniture, plants, and kids toys off of the back porch and into the garage. I also moved the bird feeder inside. Otis is hanging out on the back porch, facing east and periodically barking at nothing. Is it at all possible that he can sense that something is coming from that direction?
5:30p: The clouds changed from puffy white to ominous gray over the past couple of hours. The winds have been steadily increasing. We just had our first band of rain. Lasted for a couple of minutes and gone.
We ran out and got a new propane tank for the grill. Nate realized that Otis was almost out of food, so I ran to Target and picked some up. Thankfully everyone there was nice and not stressed! I also filled up my van's gas tank. The lines were long and people were NOT nice. Nate went shortly after me to fill up the car's tank and the only kind of gas left was premium.
While we're in a lull, we're going to take the car over to my mom's house to park it in the garage. We'll have the van here with us (the other half of the garage is full of all the stuff off the porch!).
10:15p: The winds continue to pick up, and are becoming more steady. We've had 3 rain bands, though nothing too bad. It looks like the more steady, tropical storm type rain and wind will arrive after midnight tonight. Stay tuned for updates tomorrow.