Hurricane Irene to punish U.S.’ east coast

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LOS ANGELES—(BDCi) – Weather forecasters monitoring Hurricane Irene may have changed their minds on where it will land this weekend, but one opinion they share is that Irene will be one very bad hurricane.
From Tuesday to Wednesday, the Hurricane swelled to a category 3, was projected to become category 4 and was located southeast of the Bahamas. At that time, it was thought that the hurricane would hit the Carolinas, and evacuations were already being initiated as such.
At the conclusion of Wednesday however, the storm trajectory and intensity forecasted had changed. Instead of the storm hitting the Carolinas, Irene is projected to move along the coast toward New York and New England. Due to the cooler water north however, it is unlikely the storm will reach category 4 status.
Based on the current storm track projections, CBS News Miami meteorologist David Bernard says there are two scenarios shaping up: bad and worse.
The bad scenario has the hurricane land adjacent to Long Island and bring category 2 storms up to New England, causing power outages and wind damage.
Worst case is that Irene hugs the coast from Maryland through the Hudson Valley and into New England with category 3 strength, wrecking havoc along the way.
Sometimes storms like Irene start strong, but fade, change directions and never amount to anything on the mainland.
However Meteorologists agree that this “out to sea” scenario is what is really fading fast.
People living on the eastern seaboard should monitor the National Hurricane Storm tracker at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at4+shtml/085712.shtml?5-daynl and take the necessary precautions.

By Shayla Selva
Edited by Don Weinstein
Source: CBS News
25 August 2011
12:26a.m. P.D.T.

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