Hurricane Irene is currently located in the strip between the greater and lesser Antillies, heading west-northwest where it will seriously affect The Bahamas and related islands north of Cuba and east of Florida. By late afternoon, Irene will likely be a Category 3 Hurricane.
The storm will turn northerly over the next couple of days. Its exact track is very uncertain as it moves north along the Florida coast and roughly in the direction of the part of the US East Coast that sticks out to the east around South Carolina.
The current most likely track (with a fair amount of uncertainty) places the eye of the storm dozens of miles off shore at the border of North and South Carolina (south of Virginia Beach) by Saturday night or early Sunday. This is VERY uncertain … the storm could easily be bearing down on Myrtle Beach South Carolina, or it could be farther off shore menacing beachgoers with heavy rain and high waves. In any event, there will be high waves, so be careful near the beach!
It is possible that the storm will travel parallel with the coast with the eye going inland around Long Island or Connecticut. Shades of ’38? The storm is predicted to retain its hurricane strength status all the way north if this happens. People in Fire Island, keep an eye on Irene!