Good Night Irene – Not Quite Yet

August 15, 2005

Tropical storm Irene is still churning up the Atlantic, but doesn’t appear to pose any imminent threat to the U.S. The National Hurricane Center’s latest bulletin notes that the erratic storm appears to be “becoming a little better organized at it passes between Bermuda and the North Carolina outer banks.”

The storm’s center is currently about 300 miles (480 km) west of Bermuda and about 390 miles (630 km) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras North Carolina. It is moving toward the north-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/hr.) The NHC said, “maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph (110 km/hr) with higher gusts.” It also forecast “slight strengthening” perhaps up to hurricane force – 72 mph (115 kmh).

Irene has been on an erratic track – first heading North towards Bermuda and then almost due west towards the Carolinas. According to the NHC the storm is expected to make a “gradual turn the north,” then pick up speed and continue on a northeastern track that would keep it well away from any land areas. The NHC said: “If Irene remains on the forecast track, it will not directly affect any land areas and only pose a threat to shipping interests.”

However, the NHC is also tracking Tropical Depression 10, which has formed in the Atlantic and is currently around 1000 miles (1600 kms) east of the Leeward Islands. If the disturbance continues to develop it could become the 10th named storm of the season.

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