Cuba Forecasters See Stronger Irene Tilting North

Hurricane Irene at noon on Aug. 25. Graphic: INSMET

HAVANA TIMES, August 25 — Hurricane Irene will gradually incline to the north and should gain in intensity in the next 24-48 hours, noted the Cuban Weather Service (INSMET) at noon EDT on Thursday.

While Irene no longer poses a threat to Cuba, INSMET will continue to track it through the Bahamas and on approach to the United States eastern seaboard.

Authorities in the US see the storm posing a major threat to heavily populated areas from North Carolina to New England. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been transporting food, water, blankets, baby formula and other supplies to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey and Westover Air Reserve Base in Massachusetts.

In the latest report the hurricane had 115 mph (185 kph) maximum sustained winds and a central pressure of 950 hectoPascal.  It was moving northwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

At noon the eye of the storm was located at 130 kilometers east-southeast of Nassau, Bahamas.

The next report from INSMET is expected at 6:00 p.m. EDT.