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Hurricane Irene now a Category 3 major storm
  
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 07:11
HURRICANE IRENE INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER  16A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL092011
800 AM EDT WED AUG 24 2011

...IRENE BECOMES A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE....EYE HEADED FOR THE CROOKED AND ACKLINS ISLANDS...


SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...21.9N 73.3W
ABOUT 55 MI...85 KM SE OF ACKLINS ISLAND BAHAMAS
ABOUT 335 MI...540 KM SE OF NASSAU
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...115 MPH...185 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 9 MPH...15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...957 MB...28.26 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES IN WATCHES AND WARNINGS WITH THIS ADVISORY...

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS CHANGED THE HURRICANE WARNING FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS TO A TROPICAL STORM WARNING.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE SOUTHEASTERN...CENTRAL...AND NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...THE EYE OF HURRICANE IRENE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 21.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 73.3 WEST.  IRENE IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 9 MPH...15 KM/H.  A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED ON WEDNESDAY.  ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CORE OF IRENE WILL MOVE ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN AND CENTRAL BAHAMAS TODAY AND OVER THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS ON THURSDAY.

DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 115 MPH...185 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS.  IRENE IS A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE.  SOME ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE DAY OR SO.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 40 MILES...65 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 205 MILES...335 KM.  AN UNOFFICIAL REPORTING STATION AT PINE CAY IN THE CAICOS ISLANDS RECENTLY REPORTED A WIND GUST TO 65 MPH....105 KM/H.

THE LATEST MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY A HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT WAS 957 MB...28.26 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE OCCURRING OVER PORTIONS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS.  TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN OVER THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS THIS MORNING...WITH HURRICANE CONDITIONS EXPECTED BY TONIGHT.  TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS BY LATE TONIGHT...WITH HURRICANE CONDITIONS EXPECTED ON THURSDAY.

STORM SURGE...IN AREAS OF ONSHORE WINDS NEAR THE CENTER OF IRENE...AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 7 TO 11 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS OVER THE CENTRAL AND NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS...AND BY AS MUCH AS 5 TO 8 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.  NEAR THE COAST...THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS WAVES.

RAINFALL...IRENE IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES ACROSS PUERTO RICO AND HISPANIOLA. ISOLATED MAXIMUM STORM TOTAL AMOUNTS OF 15 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN ASSOCIATION WITH IRENE.  THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES IN AREAS OF STEEP TERRAIN.  RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES ARE EXPECTED IN THE BAHAMAS...AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1100 AM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN/BLAKE

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