Irene Approaching The North Carolina Coast (11:00 pm EDT 8/26/2011)

Here is the latest on Hurricane Irene as of 11:00 EDT:

SUMMARY OF 1100 PM EDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...32.6N 76.9W
ABOUT 140 MI...225 KM S OF CAPE LOOKOUT NORTH CAROLINA
ABOUT 195 MI...315 KM SSW OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...100 MPH...160 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 20 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 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 SAGAMORE BEACH
MASSACHUSETTS…INCLUDING THE PAMLICO…ALBEMARLE…AND CURRITUCK
SOUNDS…DELAWARE BAY…CHESAPEAKE BAY SOUTH OF DRUM POINT…NEW
YORK CITY…LONG ISLAND…LONG ISLAND SOUND…COASTAL CONNECTICUT
AND RHODE ISLAND…BLOCK ISLAND…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
* NORTH OF SAGAMORE BEACH TO MERRIMACK RIVER

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* MERRIMACK RIVER TO EASTPORT MAINE

INTERESTS IN SOUTHEASTERN CANADA SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF
IRENE.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA IN THE UNITED
STATES…INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS…PLEASE
MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE
THE UNITED STATES…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL
METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

Hurricane Irene remains a Category 2 hurricane, heading right for the North Carolina coast.  There have already been a couple of reports of tornadoes in northeastern North Carolina and the tornado threat will continue throughout the night and into tomorrow.  Irene is expected to weaken over land over the next 12-24 hours.  Gusty winds and heavy downpours can still be expected all along the eastern and northeastern coasts.

There have been a lot of rumors about how Irene will affect New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.  I believe storm surge will not be as bad as the media says it will be.  By the time Irene exits North Carolina, it will weaken to a minimal Category 1 hurricane.  Now, this doesn’t mean that it won’t be a dangerous situation.  Winds in the larger cities will be stronger than usual, due to the winds funneling through the tall buildings.  Wave heights will be most likely be around 4-6 feet above normal at most, maybe higher in some spots (not 10-15 feet like rumored).  The biggest threats will be flash flooding, gusty winds, and rough seas at the coast.  Please take all warnings and evacuations seriously!  This storm still has the potential to do some serious damage!

Figure 1. 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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