Hurricane Irene is the newest threat from Mother Nature. This is the biggest storm in the Atlantic region, and indeed globally, this year. It is currently classified as a Category 3 storm with wind speeds exceeding 115 mph. It is currently moving through the Bahamas.
(Update as of 1430 EST, 27th August: Hurricane Irene rams into the East Coast. For some latest pictures from space, click here)
We had an article earlier showing infrared photos of Irene snapped up from space.)
Hurricane Irene is a category 2 storm right at this moment (6 a.m. EST, 26th August) with wind speeds of 110 mph. It is located just east of the Florida peninsula presently. It is expected to gain in speed and regain its Category 3 status in another 20 hours or so.
It will continue northwards, making landfall in North Carolina in another 24 hours and then plough northwards through the land surface. The hurricane will lose steam and wind speed will decrease to about 100 mph. However, the ground wind speed is expected to rise sharply. By the time it reaches Washington D.C., it will probably drop down to the category of a tropical storm, with wind speed of about 60-70 mph.
The threat level of the hurricane has been updated to EXTREME’, in the hope that the American public will be ready to take immediate evacuation measures. The greatest threat will include extensive damages to major cities like Washington DC, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Norfolk.
Irene will cause extensive flooding and even flash floods in certain areas. Storm surges are expected and thus small ships and trawlers have been warned against venturing out.
You can obtain up-to-the-minute tracking information of the storm here.
An Update here.
Hurricane Irene batters the east coast! Here’s a series of images!