(Definition of a hurricane: : a tropical cyclone with sustained of winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or greater)
The map below depicts the SUSTAINED winds around the time of landfall. Most winds are less than required tropical storm force (39 mph).
|Observations of Sustained Winds Around Time of Landfall|
|Satellite Picture At Time Of Landfall|
|River Stages- Aug. 27th|
We will have to wait until December for the NHC official report and investigation to come out to find out what Irene's true strength was.
Bottom line: This was not a historic storm, this was not the "big one," and this storm will not rack up billions of dollars in damage, in the Continental U.S.