Hurricane Irene Continues To Weaken (2:00 pm EDT 8/26/2011)

Hurricane Irene continues to weaken near the eastern coast of the United States.  The waters it is over, currently, are slightly cooler than they were about 12 hours ago.  This, along with some moderate mid-level shearing, is what has caused Irene to weaken down to a minimal Category 2 hurricane.  As it makes landfall over NC, it will likely downgrade to a Category 1 hurricane.  Irene will then enter the shallow, and even cooler, waters of the northern Atlantic, near the northeastern coast.  Strengthening after during this point is highly unlikely, and therefore, Irene will most likely strike the Northeast as a minimal to moderate Category 1 hurricane and quite possibly even a tropical storm.

Figure 1. IR satellite image of Irene.

Figure 2. Sea surface temperatures and path of Hurricane Irene. After landfall, Irene will be entering cooler waters of the north Atlantic.

SUMMARY OF 200 PM EDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...31.2N 77.5W
ABOUT 300 MI...480 KM SSW OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...100 MPH...155 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...951 MB...28.08 INCHES


SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT... A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * LITTLE RIVER INLET NORTH CAROLINA NORTHWARD TO SANDY HOOK NEW JERSEY...INCLUDING THE PAMLICO...ALBEMARLE...AND CURRITUCK SOUNDS...DELAWARE BAY...AND CHESAPEAKE BAY SOUTH OF DRUM POINT. A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * NORTH OF SANDY HOOK TO THE MOUTH OF THE MERRIMACK RIVER MASSACHUSETTS...INCLUDING NEW YORK CITY...LONG ISLAND...LONG ISLAND SOUND...BLOCK ISLAND...BOSTON...MARTHAS VINEYARD AND NANTUCKET. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * NORTH OF EDISTO BEACH SOUTH CAROLINA TO LITTLE RIVER INLET * CHESAPEAKE BAY FROM DRUM POINT NORTHWARD AND THE TIDAL POTOMAC WATCHES AND WARNINGS WILL LIKELY BE EXTENDED NORTHWARD INTO NEW ENGLAND THIS AFTERNOON. INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES AND SOUTHEASTERN CANADA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF IRENE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE.

Figure 3. NHC's forecast track of Hurricane Irene.

About Brian

University of Oklahoma graduate with a degree in Meteorology. Follow me on Twitter: @WeatherInformer
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