Irene may be gone, but she leaves behind lives lost, widespread power outages, intense flooding, and property damage across more than 12 states. The storm ranks as the 10th $1 billion disaster of 2011. NOAA’s early and accurate prediction of Irene’s storm path saved lives and livelihoods, as did the unprecedented use of social media to alert emergency managers and the public. Critical to NOAA’s forecasting and warnings capability were NOAA’s environmental satellites, which require sustained investment.
National Severe Storms Laboratory