Cuba Weather Watchers Track Irene to N. Carolina

Hurricane Irene at 6 p.m. Friday, August 26. Graphic: INSMET

HAVANA TIMES, August 26 — Hurricane Irene is a shade weaker as it moves closer to a possible landing in North Carolina, reported the Cuban Weather Service (INSMET) on late Friday afternoon.

The storm with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph (161 kph) is moving north at a clip of 14 mph (22 kph).  It has a minimum pressure of 951 millibars.

At 6:00 p.m. EDT, INSMET located the center of Irene at 250 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

In this latest report, the Cuban forecasters note that Irene will gradually incline to the north-northeast tonight and on Saturday with fluctuating intensity.

Neither INSMET nor the National Hurricane Center in Miami currently see Irene regaining major hurricane intensity of over 110 mph (177 kph) before a probable landing in North Carolina sometime Saturday.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the entire US Atlantic coastline from North Carolina to Massachusetts. A tropical storm warning is in place for the coast of South Carolina.