Update: Irene has now reached hurricane strength with 75mph+ sustained winds.
The 9th named tropical storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, Irene, looks like it has the potential to be the most impactful of the season so far. Currently Irene is close to making landfall on Puerto Rico in the Caribbean with maximum sustained winds of 70mph and some higher gusts. Irene could become a hurricane at any time over the coming day.
Tropical storm Irene’s forecast path takes the storm directly over Puerto Rico, then over the coast of the Dominican Republic which as a larger landmass could impact Irene’s windspeeds a little. After the Dominican Republic Irene is forecast to head directly for the Bahamas, picking up windspeed as she progresses through the warmer waters. After the Bahamas there is a chance that Irene could impact the southern or eastern Florida coastline with winds of hurricane strength, there is even a chance that South Carolina could feel some of the effects of tropical storm Irene late next weekend, particularly if the storm stayed further west of the Florida coastline.
Meanwhile, tropical storm Harvey came ashore in Mexico yesterday as a weak storm bringing heavy rainfall with a chance of landslides. Tropical storm Harvey was not expected to cause much in losses.