Irene Update: South Florida Still Slightly Within Realm of Hurricane's Path

Projections of Hurricane Irene this morning shift the storm a bit more east than yesterday's predictions, but it still leaves relatively small parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties within the forecast "cone."

The other news is that the hurricane is expected to reach category four, which includes wind speeds between 131 and 155 mph, by the time it's near Florida -- around 2 a.m. Friday.

Irene is currently a category two hurricane, and the maximum wind speed has reached 100 mph, according to a release from the National Hurricane Center at 8 a.m. today.

Here's what the five-day forecast currently looks like:

The storm was at the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti this morning and is expected to be right in the middle of the Bahamas by tomorrow morning.

According to an NHC forecaster, "Irene could become a major hurricane later today or Wednesday," hence the projection that it could reach category four status.

The sea levels are expected to rise 2 to 4 feet on the coast of the Dominican Republic, and by the time Irene hits the Bahamas, it's expected to raise the sea level as much as 13 feet.

The projections for the end of the week still show Irene hitting the Carolinas as a category three hurricane.

The NHC will release its next complete advisory at 11 a.m. today. You can find all of the past and current updates from the National Hurricane Center here.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley