Should you notice while watching weather forecasts on TV or checking them online that a severe storm is apparently forming, you can estimate the number of days you have until your locality might be affected. Again, the farther north you are, the longer it may take for the hurricane or tropical storm to reach you.
I have a bit of national interest timeline content below - if you are looking for a more concentrated dose of information centering on New York State, check the Watershed Post. If you'd like to see VIDEO, my colleague Elaina Athans produced this piece for YNN in the aftermath of Irene and Lee, when NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited farms in Ulster and Orange county. I also have a link to video I shot in Catskill around that time. Some communities were hit harder than others, but everyone that took the hit, almost everyone, has recovered or at least made progress toward "normalcy."
20 August 2911 :::The 9th named storm, first hurricane, and first major hurricane of the 2011 hurricane season, Irene originated from a well-defined Atlantic tropical wave that began showing signs of organization east of the Lesser Antilles. Due to development of atmospheric convection and a closed center of circulation, the system was designated as Tropical Storm Irene on August 20, 2011.
Hurricane Irene was a large and very destructive tropical cyclone, which affected much of the Caribbean and East Coast of the United States during the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, and became the fifth costliest U.S. hurricane on record.
21 August 2011 ::: After intensifying, Irene made landfall in St. Croix as a strong tropical storm later that day. Early on August 21, the storm made a second landfall in Puerto Rico. While crossing the island, Irene strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane. The storm paralleled offshore of Hispaniola, continued to slowly intensify in the process. Shortly before making four landfalls in the Bahamas, Irene peaked as a 120 mph (195 km/h) Category 3 hurricane.
28/29 august 2011 ::: Thereafter, the storm slowly leveled-off in intensity as it struck the Bahama and then curved northward after passing east of Grand Bahama. Continuing to weaken, Irene was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on August 27, becoming the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Ike in 2008. Early on the following day, the storm re-emerged into the Atlantic from southeastern Virginia. Although Irene remained a hurricane over land, it weakened to a tropical storm while making yet another landfall in southeastern New Jersey on August 28. A few hours later, Irene made its ninth and final landfall in Brooklyn, New York City. Early on August 29, Irene transitioned into an extratropical cyclone near the Vermont/New Hampshire border, after remaining inland as a tropical cyclone for less than 12 hours.
23 August 2005 ::: Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005 and crossed southern Florida as a moderate Category 1 hurricane, causing some deaths and flooding there before strengthening rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico.
29 August 2005 ::: The storm weakened before making its second landfall as a Category 3 storm on the morning of Monday, August 29 in southeast Louisiana. It caused severe destruction along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas, much of it due to the storm surge. The most significant number of deaths occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana, which flooded as the levee system catastrophically failed, in many cases hours after the storm had moved inland. Eventually 80% of the city and large tracts of neighboring parishes became flooded, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks.
Sixth strongest of all Atlantic hurricanes recorded, Katrina was the deadliest and most destructive Atlantic hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States.