Although Irene has been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, it is still packing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (strong Category 2). Heavy rainfall can be expected today, into tonight for much of the North Carolina coast. Hydrometeorological Prediction Center estimates close to 2 feet of rain in some areas of NC in the next 2 days:
Irene will be making landfall with the eastern coast of North Carolina sometime within the next 21-24 hours. Its outer bands can already be detected from Radar:
Here is the latest on Irene as of 8:00 am EDT, as well as all warnings and watches:
SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...30.0N 77.3W ABOUT 375 MI...600 KM SSW OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...110 MPH...175 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...945 MB...27.91 INCHES SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT... A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * THE GRAND BAHAMA AND THE ABACO ISLANDS * 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 SMITH POINT. A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * NORTH OF SANDY HOOK NEW JERSEY 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 SMITH POINT NORTHWARD AND THE TIDAL POTOMAC A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA. A WARNING IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 36 HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS...CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA. A WATCH IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 48 HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS...CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.