Colleagues, Florida will NOT be hit by a land-falling HURRICANE IRENE FORECAST: HURRICANE IRENE is a Category 2 hurricane located just north of the Dominican Republic with msw of 100 mph moving WNW at 11mph. It is now clear that IRENE WILL be about 100 miles EAST of Florida and pretty much roll over the Bahamas as a strong Category 3 hurricane. It will pass by Florida during the early hours of Thursday through late Friday. A landfall in North Carolina is likely late Saturday as a Major Hurricane. Florida will still experience some Tropical Storm winds, rain and high surf and rip tides along the east coast. Most of the peninsula of Florida will experience some Squall type conditions for several hours but not worse than that.
DISCUSSION: The ridge is showing early signs of significant weakening. The impact of the trough will be felt the next 24 hours which will allow IRENE to pretty much move up over the the Bahamas. This will also be confirming to this forecast. The continued turning (how much North and Northeast) will depend on the effect of several anticipated short-wave troughs that are on their way later in the week. I believe there is a good chance that a North Carolina landfall as a weakening Category 3 hurricane and possibly Category 2 hurricane is likely Late Saturday. If the coming short waves are a little stronger than I anticipate, Irene could be turned out to sea and head NE and miss land.
NEXT FORECAST: Wednesday morning
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Peter S. Ray
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