The nations weather

AP News
Posted: Aug 27, 2011 5:50 AM
The nations weather

Hurricane Irene will make landfall over eastern North Carolina on Saturday, at Category 1 strength with winds between 74 and 95 mph. Hurricane warnings and watches have been issued for most of the East Coast.

The large and intense storm will continue producing hurricane force winds outwards up to 90 miles from the center, with tropical storm force winds up to 290 miles from the center. These strong winds will cause much damage, while torrential rainfall will allow for flooding to be of concern. Additionally, dangerous surf is anticipated for the Mid-Atlantic coastal regions as storm surge pushes water levels up by 6 to 11 feet above normal tides. Expect rainfall totals from 6 to 10 inches across eastern North Carolina, while isolated amounts up to 15 inches are likely.

Throughout the day, the system will continue moving northward, up the East Coast. The storm will lose strength after moving over land, thus, intensification is not anticipated. Saturday night the system will move over the Washington DC area, and is expected to remain at a Category 1 storm at that point, then reducing to a tropical storm overnight into Sunday.

Thus, the current forecast is that Irene will be at tropical storm strength with winds between 39 and 73 mph as it moves over New England. Coastal regions of the following states have been placed under hurricane warnings and watches: Florida, Georgia, South Carolin, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Temperatures in the Lower 48 states Friday have ranged from a morning low of 35 degrees at West Yellowstone, Mont. to a high of 111 degrees at Phoenix, Ariz.