[Updated, 11:18 p.m. ET Saturday] Irene made landfall about 7:30 this morning on the Outer Banks as a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained 85 mph winds.
The center of Irene is moving north through the Pamlico Sound and will exit the North Carolina/Virginia coast near or over Virginia Beach back into the Atlantic Ocean late this afternoon.
The storm will then rake the Northeast from Virginia to Maine as it hugs the coastline.Â Storm surge will be worst to the east of where the storm makes landfall.
Here's what to expect in selected cities:
- Norfolk, Virginia: City is in the worst weather now with winds diminishing after midnight.
- Washington: Expect tropical storm force winds in next few hours. Expect worst winds from 4 a.m. toÂ 7 a.m. No hurricane force winds expected.
- Atlantic City, New Jersey: Already experiencing tropical storm force winds. Worst winds should be 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. with hurricane force winds likely. Landfall possible around 8 a.m.
- Philadelphia:Â Watch for tropical storm force winds after midnight. Worst weather should be 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.Â Hurricane force gusts are possible.
- New York City/Long Island: Tropical storm force winds 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Worst winds should be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with hurricane force winds possible. The center of Irene should pass just east or over the city around 11 a.m.Â The strongest hurricane force winds will be over eastern Long Island.
- Providence, Rhode Island: Tropical storm force winds should arrive around 7 a.m . Expect the worst winds noon to 5 p.m. with hurricane winds likely.
- Boston: Tropical storm force winds should arrive around 2 p.m. The worst of the storm should be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with hurricane force winds possible.
- Canada: The center of the weather system should enter Canada by 8 a.m. Monday.
Here is what to expect in the coming hours:
- Irene will begin to accelerate north/northeastward and hug the Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey coastlines, bringing hurricane force winds, storm surge and flooding rains to the region.
- Irene continues to be a very large hurricane.Â From north to south, the cloud field extends over 1,600 miles or around the distance from Denver to New York City.Â Outer bands from the storm have already reached New York and Boston.Â Tropical storm force winds extend out over 260 miles, and hurricane force winds extend out over 90 miles from Ireneâ€™s center.
- With the path of Irene, hurricane force winds are possible in the major metro areas of Philadelphia, New York and Boston.Â Tropical storm force winds are possible in Washington.
- Widespread power outages are already reported in eastern North Carolina and those will be moving northward today and tomorrow.
- The dangers from Irene will spread well inland.Â Not only will high winds knock down trees and power lines, but extremely heavy rains of more than 1 foot will fall on already saturated ground from the Mid-Atlantic though the Canadian Maritimes.Â The flood threat could be the greatest threat from Irene in the end.
- The front right quadrant is the most dangerous part of the storm.Â It is where the highest wind and highest storm surge are expected.Â The worst conditions are expected from the center of the storm to around a 100 miles east of the track.
- Based on the current track, Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts appear to be at greatest risk of damage.
- New York City will be close to the eventual path of Irene.Â Storm surge flooding and hurricane force winds are still possible Sunday.
[Updated, 10:30 p.m. ET Friday] Irene is a very large hurricane Friday evening bearing down on the Carolina coast.Â Maximum sustained winds have remained 100 mph, and there will likely be little change in intensity before the storm makes landfall on Saturday morning between Morehead City andÂ Hatteras, North Carolina.
The storm will then head toward the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.Â Irene is forecast to be a hurricane as it approaches or moves over the major metropolitan area of the Northeast.Â A HAZUS computer model that computes how many people will be affected by the storm forecasts that more than 40 million people will experience winds that could do damage (50 mph or greater) .
Widespread power outages, storm surge damage east of where the center makes landfall, along with catastrophic flooding are all possible Friday night through the weekend.
- Irene is steadily marching to the Carolina Coast.Â The outer bands of Irene are already pounding the coast of both South and North Carolina.
- Early Saturday morning the core or center of dangerous Irene will approach the North Carolina coast.Â Landfall is expected between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on the southern Outer Banks with maximum sustained winds at 100 mph or higher.
- By late Saturday the storm will be accelerating to the north.Â The center is expected to hug the coast and will bring hurricane force winds over a large swath from Virginia all the way up into Maine.
- Irene is a large hurricane, so hurricane force winds are expected to spread along the coast all the way from Virginia into Maine from late Saturday through the day on Sunday.
- Since the storm is so large, the tropical storm force winds extend out nearly 250 miles from the center, so tropical storm winds will extend well inland.
- Irene could very possibly pass right over or near enough that hurricane force winds could move over the major metro areas of Philadelphia, New York and Boston.Â Damage could be widespread in and around these cities. Sustained winds of 80 mph, with higher gusts, are possible.
- Widespread power outages, downed trees and power lines are expected over a large section of the Northeast.
- Historically, inland flooding is one of the greatest if not the greatest threat.Â More than a foot of rain is expected over parts of the Northeast on top of what has been the wettest August on record for many locations.Â Catastrophic flooding is possible over a large area.
- Travel is already being disrupted in the Northeast and that will only get worse as we head through time.Â Many major metro areas are already proactively planning complete shutdowns of their transit systems on Sunday.Â AllÂ five major New York area airports are closing to arriving flights at noon on Saturday
Expected closest pass to some major cities:Â Â (Note this is when the worst is expected. Conditions will be deteriorating well in advance of these times and will last for hours after.)
- Morehead City, North CarolinaÂ – 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday (Irene will make landfall around 7 a.m. over the southern Outer Banks)
- Virginia Beach/Norfolk,Â Virginia â€“ 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday
- Washington â€“ 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday
- Atlantic City, New Jerseyâ€“ 4 a.m. â€“ 10 a.m. Sunday
- Philadelphia â€“ 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday
- New York – Â 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday
- Bostonâ€“ 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
- Storm center is completely out of the United States into Canada by 8 a.m. Monday
[3:59 p.m.] Irene will spin off the coast of South Carolina today. Outer bands from the storm are reaching the Carolina coasts now and will bring gusty winds, heavy rain and dangerous surf.
On Saturday the core or center of Irene will approach the North Carolina coast. Conditions will be deteriorating from late tonight into the morning. Landfall is now expected by mid-Â to late- morning near Morehead City or the Outer Banks.
By late Saturday the storm will be accelerating to the north. The center is expected to hug the coast and will bring hurricane force winds over a large swath from Virginia all the way up into Maine.
The worst of the storm surge and winds will be just east of the center. With the storm moving so close to the coast, a secondary landfall location is hard to forecast, and could occur anywhere from Virginia to Massachusetts.
Irene could very possibly pass right over or near enough that hurricane force winds could move over the major metro areas of Philadelphia, NYC, and Boston. Damage could be widespread around these cities with possible sustained winds of 80 mph, and higher gusts possible.
Widespread power outages, downed trees and power lines are expected over a large section of the Northeast.
Historically inland flooding is one of the greatest if not the greatest threat. Over a foot of rain is expected over parts of the Northeast on top of what has been the wettest August on record for many locations. Catastrophic flooding is possible over a large area.
Travel will be severely disrupted starting tonight. The New York City metro transit system may shut down entirely, along with many other major metro systems bringing travel to a standstill in some locations. Amtrak trains will be severely impacted or canceled. Major airports in Washington, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston will likely close for a time on Sunday. If storm surge flooding occurs in NYC, LaGuardia and JFK airports are in the evacuation zones and could flood.
The hurricane is expected to closely pass these major cities at the following times: (Note: These are the times when the worst is expected. Conditions will be deteriorating well in advance of these times and will last four hours afterward.)
Morehead City, North Carolina: 6 a.m. â€“ 2 p.m. Saturday (Irene will likely make landfall here or just north around 8 a.m.)
Virginia Beach/Norfolk, Virginia:â€“ 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday evening
Washington: 4 a.m. â€“ 10 a.m. Sunday morning
Atlantic City, New Jersey: 5 a.m. â€“ 11 a.m. Sunday morning
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 6am – Noon Sunday
New York, New York: 8 a.m. to mid afternoon Sunday
Boston, Massachusetts: 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday
@Big Spender: "God" can flip for the bill. @Jim F: very true, rapper isn't real music even when it's called hip-hop.
With all the polictians working so hard on our joblessness and the econimee why do none of them address the most costly items the us has to indure, imagration? We have people working on visa's and people that are here eliglly, and the cost is high in job loss and what it takes to police something we won't do anything about. People keep saying the elligles are doing jobs americans don't want. I want you to interveiw someone homeless with children and ask them what jobs they won't do I believe you will be supprised to the answer. Our president and congress keep aruguing about goverment cost but they are scared politically to adress imagration and keep americans at work first.
Ddusty dogman, how on earth does your rant about illegals have ANYTHING to do with this hurricane? Did the illegals cause it to become category 3 and make land fall in the Carolina's? Instead of preaching from your high moral horse, why don't you wish for luck and hope to the people devastated by this horrible natural disaster and learn how to spell.
@Gung Hoe: the real difference is that Bush's was working vacations and Obama's was to rub noses with the rich and famous elitists(as in the Queen).
American taxpayers spent billions giving Libyans their freedom, now they can return the favor. Take billions of the frozen assets and rebuild America.
It is very telling that when 9/11 happened Bush was on vacation in a classroom reading to children, by contrast when Joplin was hit Obama went ahead and flew to Ireland and then on to England to meet the Queen and party it up.
And he was at the Alabama sight right after it happened. And he did visit the Joplin sight, nice selective memory bud.
No, the difference is that Bush was GOP, and Obama's a Dem.
Love the way the only "working vacations" are the ones GOP Presidents take.
And again, this bears repeating:
CONGRESS IS ON VACATION!
Obama couldn't do much, anyway...
And how do you know he's *not* working? Because you dislike him?
What's telling is your obvious hatred for Obama.
You do know that these trips are planned MONTHS in advance, and Obama isn't the only person involved?
Nice tunnel vision.
"The storm will THAN rake the Northeast Coast from Virginia to Maine as it hugs the coast Saturday night into Sunday with hurricane force winds, heavy rain and flooding, and widespread power outages. "
Come on, CNN, it should be **THEN*
Yes, OMG. I am so sick of people who don't know the difference between then and than!!!!!!!
I couldn't read past that. I guess I will have to get my news from a different website.
Anytime the President leaves Washington is automatically on vacation?
I call BS, Ken.
Time to "hunker down"!
And Good Luck, to those who stays on those barrier islands and low lying areas. I hope these people knows that "911" will be very busy, and it might take a long time for you to get help, if they can even get to you.
It's pretty ridiculous that everyone wants to blow this off. Same situation happend in New Orleans....
This could very well be a catastrophic event or it might not be as bad as the media is making it out to be.
EIther way, why be stupid/ignorant about it? The reason people die and lose everything they have is because
they think they are invincible. It's annoying that the government and our tax dollars have to constantly take care of those idiots who decide "oh , nothing will happen, I'll just stay". Not to mention constantly rebuilding in these areas that are repeatedly destroyed. So to all of you who act like this is just a joke and you know it all, goodluck with that.
NY city has always been on the Hurricane path! In the 1800 hundreds they were hit with nameless hurricanes! They did not have names (let`s use women`s names only! O.K. , we had to use women`s names also!) they did not know who was coming! no satelite pics! They did O.K.!
All they talk ab out on the weather Channel is New England and New York. What about N Carolina??????? Let's let it make landfall and cover that area first. I have family there, and would like to see what is going on. This is the first yr in 30+ yrs that I will not be watching the Weather Channel covering this hurricane. Keep your coverage going.
Cape Hatteras, Roanoke, Corolla, Duck, Whales, and Ocracoke Island had to be evacuted I know that. While they kept the Brunswick nuclear power plant operating which is on the NC coastline.
Other then that I'm as clueless as you are.
Banasy: actually I was pointing out that no President is ever truly on vacation and that the people defending Obama now are the same ones who were lambasting Bush. Thanks for putting words in my mouth that I never said though.