Hurricane Irene Update: Storm Now Expected to Reach Category Three, Moving Farther East

The forecast of Hurricane Irene has changed quite a bit from early this morning to now. It's projected to reach category three by Thursday morning -- which means winds of at least 111 mph -- but instead of landing in South Florida by Thursday as predicted in earlier forecasts, it's now projected to hit land several hundred miles up the coast.

Irene is now projected to hit land around South Carolina, instead of the prediction this morning that the storm was making a beeline for South Florida.

As we often repeat, weathermen aren't oracles, so don't be surprised if the National Hurricane Center's next complete advisory at 5 p.m. today changes things up even more.

As of 5 a.m. today, the storm was moving at 14 mph with a maximum wind speed of 75 mph, west-northwest of Puerto Rico.

It was still moving around the same speed as of 11 a.m. today, but the maximum wind speed was determined to be even higher -- 80 mph, with wind gusts even higher than that.

Here's the current map of the five-day forecast as of now:

The warning from this map is that the scope of the circle shows the realm of possibility of where the storm could ultimately land, which includes just off the brink of South Florida.

You can find all of the past and current updates from the National Hurricane service here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley