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26 August 2011

Category 2 Hurricane Irene Approaches the Outer Banks of the US

Image: NOAA (Click on image for larger view.)

Having weakened slightly overnight, but still a powerful Category 2 hurricane, Irene is still tracking northward along the U.S. eastern coastline with 110 mph sustained winds. Irene is not expected to strengthen significantly, as dry air and light to moderate vertical shear will prevent intensification. However, very warm ocean temperatures in the vicinity of coastal North Carolina always provide the possibility for the storm to increase slightly in strength before landfall in the vicinity of the Outer Banks.