IRENE AND GHOSTS OF HURRICANES PAST

Hurricane Irene is stalking toward the U.S. on a track that will affect tens of millions of people.

Once departing the Outer Banks of North Carolina late Saturday, it looks as though she’ll churn NNE along or just off the Delmarva Peninsula and Jersey Shore, putting Long Island in her crosshairs.

Irene’s course is expected to be very similar to several other hurricanes of recent and distant past–analog storms, as meteorologists like to call them.

The most recent analog storm was Hurricane Gloria in 1985. Gloria tracked NNE just off the Jersey Shore and thundered over Long Island near Long Beach as a category 2. Winds gusted to 115 mph over eastern Long Island and 85 mph at Islip.

IRENE EYEING NORTH CAROLINA

Things are looking a bit better for Florida and Georgia this afternoon vis-a-vis Hurricane Irene. The same strengthening factors as mentioned in yesterday’s blog remain in play today, while at the same time the models seem to have stabilized their shifting tracks of the past few days.

That means that after Irene blasts through the Bahamas, she’s expected to turn a bit more toward the north and place her laser targeting dot on the Carolinas, most likely extreme eastern North Carolina.