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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

2:00 PM | Major Hurricane Irene Aiming For Mid-Atlantic

Paul Dorian


Hurricane Irene continues to pound the Bahamas today while slowly making a turn to a more northerly direction (NNW) which puts it on a collision course with the Mid-Atlantic coastline. The latest measured winds remain sustained at 115 mph (category 3), but Irene could strengthen into a category 4 storm within 24 hours or so. The very latest computer forecast model runs confirm last night’s westward shift by many of the models in the predicted track of Irene back to the Mid-Atlantic coastline from off the coast. This coastal track is not good news for the I-95 corridor from DC to New York City as it will allow for a major impact by Irene this weekend. Irene should reach eastern North Carolina on Saturday and then head to near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay on its way to near the South Jersey coastline by Sunday morning. During the day Sunday, Irene will likely head to the New York City region and then reach interior New England by Monday morning. Irene will only slowly weaken as it treks up the coast still likely maintaining hurricane status as it approaches the New York City region late Sunday. Torrential rains and destructive winds are likely for much of the Mid-Atlantic including the entire I-95 corridor from DC to New York and this will create numerous power outages and flooding problems. The following list shows the expected “brunt of the storm” time periods with potential peak wind gusts for several locations this weekend:

Cape Hatteras, Saturday, gusts of 115+ mph

Atlantic City, late Saturday through Sunday, gusts of 90-100 mph

DC, late Saturday through early Sunday, gusts of 60-70 mph

Philly, late Saturday through mid-day Sunday, gusts of 70-80 mph

New York City, Saturday night through Sunday, gusts of 80-90 mph

Boston, late Saturday night through Sunday, gusts of 60-75 mph