Irene has weakened slightly at this time and is now a category 2 hurricane. Irene will continue to fluctuate in strength and size as she continues here track to the north and then northeast. Irene is a dangerous storm and these slight variations in size and strength should not be considered or overlooked as a sign of overall weakening.
People in the path of Irene should head the warnings issued and take appropriate measures to secure their well being. Property can often be replaced and there is nothing you con do to stop the power of a hurricane should it decide to take your property. Save your life, move to a safe place well inland from the storm.
Remember the reach of hurricane and tropical strength winds will be felt some distance from the actual center of the hurricane, as well as heavy flooding rains and tidal surge. At this time hurricane force winds extend outwards of 90 miles, and tropical storm force winds extend outwards up to 290 miles. Tropical storm winds are as deadly with speeds reaching 73 MPH where hurricane type devastation will occur. A wind of 50 MPH will cause trees to be uprooted and structural damage to property to occur.
Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center with projected track and model plots following the text –
HURRICANE IRENE ADVISORY NUMBER 24
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092011
500 AM EDT FRI AUG 26 2011
...IRENE SLIGHTLY WEAKER...WARNINGS AND WATCHES EXTENDED NORTHWARD
ALONG THE U. S. EAST COAST...
SUMMARY OF 500 AM EDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 420 MI...675 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...942 MB...27.82 INCHES
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
AT 500 AM EDT...0900 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE IRENE WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 29.3 NORTH...LONGITUDE 77.2 WEST. IRENE IS MOVING
TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/H...AND THIS MOTION IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS. A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD
THE NORTH-NORTHEAST SHOULD BEGIN THEREAFTER. ON THE FORECAST
TRACK...THE CORE OF THE HURRICANE WILL PASS WELL OFF THE COAST OF
NORTHEASTERN FLORIDA TODAY...APPROACH THE COAST OF NORTH CAROLINA
TONIGHT...AND PASS NEAR OR OVER THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST SATURDAY.
REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE
THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NOW NEAR 110 MPH...175 KM/H...WITH
HIGHER GUSTS. IRENE IS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE
SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SOME RE-INTENSIFICATION IS
POSSIBLE TODAY...AND IRENE IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR THE THRESHOLD
BETWEEN CATEGORY TWO AND THREE AS IT REACHES THE NORTH CAROLINA
IRENE IS A LARGE TROPICAL CYCLONE. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND
OUTWARD UP TO 90 MILES...150 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL
STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 290 MILES...465 KM. NOAA
BUOY 41010 LOCATED ABOUT 140 MILES...220 KM EAST OF CAPE CANAVERAL
FLORIDA RECENTLY REPORTED A SUSTAINED WIND OF 56 MPH...90 KM/H...
AND A WIND GUST OF 74 MPH...119 KM/H.
THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE ESTIMATED FROM HURRICANE HUNTER
AIRCRAFT DATA IS 942 MB...27.82 INCHES.
Irene Forecast track as of 5amedt Aug 26 2011
Irene Forecast track as of 521amedt Aug 26 2011
Irene Forecast track as of 2amedt Aug 26 2011