Photo: Hurricane Irene
Hurricane Irene, a large, powerful Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, continues to plow through the Bahamas, with the U.S. in its sights.
As you can see on our projected path map below, Hurricane Irene will be a very dangerous hurricane as it tracks towards the East Coast this weekend. Anyone in the corridor from eastern North Carolina to the Northeast U.S. should be preparing for a hurricane!
As of Thursday morning, the first tropical storm and hurricane watches have been posted for the U.S.
The Weather Channel Exclusive Threat Level for Hurricane Irene
Find out the potential impacts from Hurricane Irene in the U.S. on The Weather Channel’s exclusive threat level graphics below.
We’ve added an “EXTREME” threat level category from eastern North Carolina to southern New England. According to Hurricane Expert, Dr. Rick Knabb and Sr. Meteorologist, Stu Ostro, “this is a particularly threatening situation and it’s best for people to be on alert.”
Computer models are currently trending toward a forecast solution of rare potency for portions of the Northeast.
Irene has the potential to be a serious and multi-hazard threat for the major metropolitan areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. This includes Norfolk, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Hartford, and Boston. This hurricane has the potential to produce flooding rains, high winds, downed trees (on houses, cars, power lines) and widespread power outages. Significant impacts along the immediate coast include high waves, surge and beach erosion. The severity of the impacts will be determined by Irene’s exact path and intensity, which remain uncertain at this time.
For North Carolina, odds are increasing that the main impacts of damaging winds and storm surge flooding will be confined to the far eastern portions of the state. In addition to the Outer Banks, this potentially includes Morehead City and Atlantic Beach.
Timing: Irene will make its closest approach to North Carolina late Friday night through Saturday. Northeast U.S. impacts would be this weekend into early Monday of next week.
We remain a couple of days away from Irene’s direct impacts along the US East Coast and critical uncertainties related to Irene’s exact track and intensity remain. Stay tuned to The Weather Channel and right here on weather.com for further updates.
Eastern U.S. Threat Level
The threat level from the eastern N.C. to southern New England is extreme. The potential for widespread damaging winds, flooding rain, and, in some locations, coastal flooding and storm surge is very real this weekend.