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Hurricane Irene reaches Category 3 status.

Aug 24, 2011

Tags:Dr. Grey,Dr. Klotzbach,Earthquake,East Pacific,El Nino,Hurricane Irene,Hurricane Outlook,Hurricane Prediction,Hurricane Season 2011,Hurricane Season 2012,HUrricane Season Update,La Nina,Meteorology,Polar Vortex,Tropical,Tropics,Weather,Winter

As of 8am EDT this morning Irene has been upgraded to major hurricane status with 115 mph max sustained winds. This is a category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. As previous forecasts have stated this was expected, but this is also very bad news for the Bahamas as the storm rolls through the islands today.

In terms of US impacts and track the forecast has changed little overnight. The eastward trend in successive model runs has slowed with the main consensus still focused on the NC coast for either a close pass or direct landfall. Thereafter the storm may actually impact the Northeast. At this point residents along most of the Eastern Seaboard should pay close attention to the progress of Irene. One interesting note is a key upper level feature that may influence the storm track will only be sampled in reality for the first time today. This will be important in terms of forecast confidence once model guidance takes that into account.

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