UPDATE NHC 5AM: Irene bashing NW Bahamas and then heading to the Carolinas. NO Watches for us. Still, with such a dangerous hurricane a mere 225 miles to our East later today... keep watching just in case.
It is down from 120 mph to 115 mph as of this early update. The reason for this: It is going through an eyewall replacement. Imagine if you we running at full speed for as long as you could, sooner or later you have to catch your breath before taking off again... this is what the eyewall is doing, catching its breath.
Most models expect some strong upper winds to move off the Southeast coast today and protect us from Irene.
This is the latest from NHC at 5am:
- THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE TO THE TRACK FORECAST REASONING. IRENE SHOULD TURN NORTHWARD AS IT MOVES THROUGH A BREAK IN THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE
- THE OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST HAS BEEN SHIFTED VERY SLIGHTLY TO THE WEST OF THE PREVIOUS ONE AND IS ROUGHLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE...WHICH IS BRACKETED BY THE U.K. MET. OFFICE MODEL ON THE EAST AND THE GFDL MODEL ON THE WEST.
- A HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INVESTIGATING IRENE A FEW HOURS AGO FOUND THAT THE CENTRAL PRESSURE HAD DROPPED TO 950 MB.
- SINCE THE ENVIRONMENT APPEARS TO BE CONDUCIVE WITH WEAK SHEAR...WARM WATERS...AND AN UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW ANTICYCLONE OVER THE HURRICANE...THE OFFICIAL FORECAST SHOWS RE-STRENGTHENING WITHIN A DAY OR SO.
- GIVEN THE LIMITATIONS IN OUR ABILITY TO PREDICT INTENSITY CHANGE...THERE IS SIGNIFICANT UNCERTAINTY AS TO JUST HOW STRONG IRENE WILL BE WHEN IT NEARS THE EASTERN AND NORTHEASTERN U.S. COAST.