A hurricane watch is in effect for north of Surf City, N.C., to the North Carolina-Virginia border, including the Pamlico, Albemarle and Curritck sounds, the National Hurricane Center announced this morning.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for north of Edisto Beach, S.C., to Surf City, N.C.
Hurricane Irene remained a powerful Category 3 storm this morning, with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour. The storm is about 65 miles east-northeast of Nassau, Bahamas, and about 670 miles south of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
Irene is expected to strengthen today and tonight, according to reports.
Interests in the Mid-Atlantic states and New England are advised to monitor Irene’s progress. Current forecasts show the storm moving over the North Carolina/Virginia border early Sunday before heading into New England.
The storm is pounding the northwestern Bahamas, forecasters said. The core of the hurricane will continue to move over that area today and pass well offshore of the east coast of central and northern Florida tonight and early Friday.
Swells generated by Irene are affecting portions of the southeastern United States, the hurricane center said.
Behind Irene, Tropical Depression 10 has formed in the far eastern Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm, currently no threat to land, is about 435 miles west-southwest of the southernmost Cape Verde islands, with maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour.
Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the group of thunderstorms is likely to become Tropical Storm Jose later today.