The video says a lot and I won't deviate too much from what was posted, but I wanted to at least touch on the swell Irene will create. A storm this size will no doubt stir the seas and impact a lot of us. Early indications put the initial swell from this monster on our doorstep as early as Thursday night. Stronger waves may come, but initially you'll see a different sea come Thursday evening.
Remember, even though she may not hit land as a category 3 or 4, the energy still at sea can be felt on our coastline before the eye passes. It really doesn't take much of a storm for this to happen. In fact, remember back to tropical storm Emily. She was well out to sea and brought in a significant 5-6 foot swell to parts of Atlantic Beach. Granted, the tracks are much different, but the points remains, this swell will be big and coming in quickly. Actual wave height predictions as the eye passes can be found by pressing play on the video.
In terms of a possible storm surge, this important factor can't be predicted until we're 48 hours away, at the earliest, from a possible landfall (Thursday afternoon). Our topography in eastern North Carolina combined with the track uncertainly makes it very difficult to forecast a storm surge this far out. As soon as the data is in, we will have those numbers for you.
If you have questions please ask away. I'll edit this particular World of Weather with answers so check back for updates. In terms of winds & seas, hopefully this has helped to give an overall perspective on what a Hatteras track will do to the rest of Eastern Carolina. Should the track deviate even 20 miles those graphics/data will change dramatically. Please stay safe and tuned in.