Hurricane Irene is currently storming toward the U.S. and this could be very bad news for residents of the eastern coastline. Hurricane Irene is now predicted to reach up to category 4 strength before it makes landfall — possibly somewhere in the Carolinas this weekend.

At 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Center reported Hurricane Irene located north of the Dominican Republic with sustained winds near 100 mph. Hurricane Irene is currently moving over very warm ocean waters and experiencing little wind shear. This means the hurricane could experience rapid intensification up to a category 4 before possibly impacting the eastern seaboard sometime this weekend.

The National Hurricane Center now believes the storm will skirt past the Florida coast, but warns the storm still remains unpredictable. Current projections put Hurricane Irene with a possible landfall location somewhere in the Carolinas this weekend.

National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said in a press statement that Hurricane Irene is “moving into an environment which is very ideal for strengthening. … We expect it to become a Category 4 hurricane as it passes east of central Florida.”

“We expect the storm to stay off the coast of Florida, which is good news for Florida. But it’s still looking like it’s going to impact the Carolinas and could make landfall there as a major hurricane.”

Officials may begin issuing hurricane watches for parts of the U.S. as early as today. “This is going to be impacting a lot of real estate from South Florida through the Carolinas,” Feltgen said.



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