Tropical Storm Irene is dumping heavy rain on the northern Leeward Islands and the system is expected to strengthen as it heads toward Puerto Rico, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday. Most forecasts have the storm hitting southern Florida by the end of the week.If it hits Florida as a hurricane it will probably be a fairly weak one since it won't have a lot of time over open water to strengthen. However, even a weak hurricane can wreak real havoc on a densely populated area like Miami and its suburbs.
Irene could become a hurricane Monday, though its power was predicted to fluctuate over the next several days as it moves over the Dominican Republican and possibly Cuba.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Irene was 45 miles (72 kilometers) south-southwest of Antigua, moving westward at 21 mph (33 kph). Sustained winds must reach 74 mph (119 kph) for the storm to become a hurricane.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The Atlantic Hurricane Season, which was forecast to be pretty busy, so far has produced nine named storms but not one hurricane. That's expected to change this week as Irene will likely grow to hurricane strength and she seems to have Miami in her sights: