Hurricane Irene blew up into a category 2 hurricane with 100 mile per hour winds north of Hispaniola tonight. It missed the island is now poised to develop into a major (category 3 or stronger) hurricane as it makes its way toward the Bahamas.
At least one computer model previously forecast Irene missing Hispaniola and developing into a major hurricane. That computer model has Irene on track toward the border of South Carolina and North Carolina between Charleston and Wilmington. Most of the computer models have developed the storm into a major hurricane off the East Coast of the United States. For at least three more days, it’s going to be in a favorable environment for intensification. There is the possibility that due to the trough developing off the eastern United States, it may weaken slightly before landfall.
This same trough is expected to draw Irene north toward the Carolinas. Computer models and the National Hurricane Center continue to shift east. If you look at the latest models, there is even a possibility that Irene could miss both North and South Carolina. This scenario is not forecast at this time by the National Hurricane Center.
The National Hurricane is urging residents along coastal United States to be aware the the forecast error for the 5-day forecast is from 200 to 250 miles. (The forecast error is how they develop the “cone of error or uncertainty) that you see in the graphic below.
Dawn Brown, FOX 8 New Orleans