Hurricane Irene Bears Down on East Coast

As of 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, August 26, 2011 (NHC Advisory #25): Maximum sustained winds from Hurricane Irene have decreased to 105 mph, with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 90 miles from the center. Irene is currently heading North (360°) at 14 mph, and this motion is expected to continue throughout the day.

While the intensity of Irene is slightly lower, little change in strength is expected over the next 12 to 24 hours. As it reaches the mid-Atlantic coast, a gradual decrease in intensity is expected. Hurricane Warnings and Watches have been issued across the Eastern seaboard, and are likely to be extended as far North as New England by this afternoon.

Hurricane Irene passed Buoy 41010 last night, producing significant wave heights of over 30-feet and wind gusts as high as 62 knots (71 mph). As it continues up the coast, it is forecast to pass Buoy 41013 (Frying Pan Shoals, NC), where wind speeds and wave heights are currently on the rise. As of 11:00 a.m. (EDT), Buoy 41013 (@buoy41013) reported wind gusts of 41 knots and significant wave heights of 14 feet and climbing.

Real-time observations from buoys within Irene’s forecasted path are available on Twitter at the following handles:

  • Buoy 41004 – Southeast of Charelston, SC (@buoy41004)
  • Buoy 41013 – Frying Pan Shoals, NC (@buoy41013)
  • Buoy 41110 – Masonboro Inlet, NC (@buoy41110)
  • Buoy 44100 – Duck FRF 26m, NC (@buoy44100)
  • Buoy 44014 – East of Virginia Beach, VA (@buoy44014)

Tune-in to your local National Weather Service bureau for the latest updates on Hurricane Irene and stay safe!