|Tuesday, August 23, 2011 – John Patti and The Associated Press|
|The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Irene is likely to become a major Category 3 storm today and could strengthen to Category 4 by Thursday.
Click here to follow the track of Hurricane Irene.
It’s the first hurricane to seriously threaten the U.S. since Hurricane Ike pounded Texas in 2008.
Forecasters say it could make landfall in Florida, Georgia or South Carolina, but they say predictions about where Irene might hit are highly uncertain right now.
WBAL Meteorologist Tony Pann says he believes Hurricane Irene will miss the east coast of Florida and stay out over open waters. If that happens, Pann says the storm will strengthen and carry winds of as high as 120 miles per hour. Pann adds if that happens it could present a major problem for the Delmarva beaches over the coming weekend, especially Saturday night into Sunday.
National Weather Service Forecaster Andy Woodcock says it would be possible for the Baltimore area to see between 5 and 10 inches of rain from this storm, however, it is still very early and the track of the storm could change by the weekend.
At last report, (5am) Irene was moving toward Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas.