It is growing more likely that Irene will strike the East Coast, rather than Florida. That’s a problem. With more time over the warm waters of the Atlantic, the current projections have the storm now reaching “major” status. The National Hurricane Center is predicting winds in Irene to increase to at least 115mph before making landfall. To the left you can see the latest satellite image of the storm as it moves to the NW.
Irene now poses a serious threat to the eastern seaboard and would create life threatening conditions over a large area when and if it makes landfall. In fact, this could turn into the strongest storm to make landfall in the US since Hurricane Rita made landfall in Texas back in 2005. Since then many storms have affected the US but this could be the strongest in years.
At this hour, the forecasted path would put the storm in the South Carolina area by the end of the week or the start of the weekend. There is still the potential of a change in the forecasted track that would bring it closer to Florida or drift it further north along the east cost. But for right now the Carolinas appear to be most at risk from this storm.
We will continue to monitor changes both in the storm’s intensity as well as the forecasted path throughout the week. Check back for more updates as the storm inches closer.