2 p.m. update: Hurricane Irene
The early afternoon advisory shows that the path of Hurricane Irene is projected to remain to the east of Florida over the Atlantic waters, therefore not becoming an immediate threat to Southwest Florida.
John McMichael, a forecaster out of the Tampa Bay office said the 2 p.m. advisory shows that Irene is located roughly 150 miles to the west northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He said the hurricane is moving to the north northwest at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.
McMichael said the forecast showed that Hurricane Irene will continue on this track for the next 24-48 hours.
The hurricane is expected to move just to the north of the Dominican Republic and Haiti today and will continue near or over the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas by Tuesday. It is expected to be near central Bahamas early Wednesday.
McMichael said the 2 p.m. advisory shows that the official track keeps Hurricane Irene to the east of Florida over the Atlantic waters. With that official track, he said the wind impact will be less and we would be looking at scattered showers.
“If it moves further to the west conditions could be worse,” McMichael said with higher winds and more of a threat of hurricane conditions.
He encourages individuals to continue to monitor the progress of the storm over the next couple of days because the forecast is not etched in stone.