Hurricane Irene was growing in strength Monday night as the storm was churning slowly into the Bahamas. We are reaching the peak season for hurricanes and it looks like Irene will live up to that honor. Late Monday night the storm was already packing sustained winds of 100 mph and was located about 1200 miles south-southeast of the North Carolina coast.
Forecasters typically look at weather computer models to get an idea of where the storm is headed and how strong it will be when it gets there. It appears Irene will be a major hurricane in the Bahamas by Wednesday and Thursday. The current track would take the storm near the South Carolina or North Carolina coast by Saturday. Current estimates are that Irene should be at least a category 2 storm with winds of 100 mph at landfall.
It isn't easy to determine what direct impacts the storm will have on our area. The beaches will certainly see a lot of rough surf and heavy rainfall is likely in much of the region. Wind velocities will be determined by the location of landfall for the storm.