Hurricane Irene is coming. Slowly but surely. Check out the full story from The Weather Channel after the jump.



– Major Hurricane Irene poses an extraordinary threat and is one that no one has yet experienced from North Carolina to the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast to New England.

– Irene is a major category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph moving past.

– Irene is centered about 575 miles south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and moving NNW at 14 mph.

– A hurricane warning is in effect for the Northwest Bahamas.

– A hurricane watch is in effect from the NC/VA border to Sandy Hook, NJ, including the Delaware bay and the Chesapeake Bay south of Smith Point.

– A tropical storm warning is in effect from north of Edisto Beach, SC to Little River Inlet

– A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Chesapeake Bay from Smith Pt. northward and the tidal Potomac

– Irene moves northwest through the Bahamas through tonight.

– Peak wind gusts so far: George Town 69 mph and Nassau 66 mph.

– Rainfall of 6 to 10 inches is expected throughout the Bahamas.

– A dangerous storm surge could raise water levels by 7 to 11 feet in the northwest Bahamas in areas.

– Outer rain bands from Irene continue across eastern Florida tonight.

– Heavy showers may contain wind gusts over 40 mph along with rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour.

– After moving out of the Bahamas tonight Irene parallels the Southeast coast well offshore Friday.

– Rain bands occasional lash the coastline from central Florida to North Carolina.

– Some bands may contain tropical storm force wind gusts.

– Irene could still be a major hurricane causing extreme impacts to eastern North Carolina later Friday night and Saturday.

– Winds over 100 mph, torrential rainfall, ocean and sound flooding and a damaging storm surge are expected on the Outer Banks and western shores of the sounds.

– Hurricane force winds could be felt over the mainland almost to I-95.

– Heavy rainfall is possible as far west as central North Carolina and north-central South Carolina through Saturday afternoon.

– There has been a slight shift in the forecast beyond Saturday.

– It now appears Irene may hug the coastline potentially making a landfall near New York City Sunday evening.

– This new track means more people could have catastrophic impacts from Irene in the Northeast beginning Saturday night in southern Virginia and lasting into Monday in New England.

– Even though Irene should weaken some it will still bring hurricane force winds, extreme rainfall, significant coastal flooding and a tornado threat.

– Irene should be hitting the Northeast near the new moon when tides will be higher before adding Irene’s surge and wave action.

– Heavy rain could track as far west as western Virginia, western Maryland, central Pennsylvania and central and western New York.

– Widespread wind damage and power outages are likely throughout the Northeast.

– Plan ahead … Make sure that you have plenty of water, non-perishable food, flashlights and a transistor radio.