August 22nd, 2011 10:29 EST
Hurricane Irene to Bring Destructive Winds, Torrential Rains and Massive Storm Surge
Irene is destined to strike the Southeast later this week, but should also spread its flooding rain into the Northeast in the following days.
Destructive winds, torrential rain, a flooding storm surge and isolated tornadoes will accompany Irene as the storm strikes the Southeast later this week.
The current statistics of Irene, including its strength and position, can be found at the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center.
After landfall, AccuWeather.com meteorologists are growing increasingly concerned that Irene will continue its track northward through the East Coast.
Flooding rainfall would remain a serious threat and danger to residents on such a path.
Rainfall could range from 10 to 20 inches in a slow-moving tropical system. Even if Irene moves rather quickly through the East Coast, the potential still exists for 4 to 8 inches.
Widespread flash flooding would result in both cases, threatening to cause a repeat of the recent deadly flooding incident in Pittsburgh.
There is one long-term benefit to Irene`s upcoming soaking--drought relief.
"The Low Country of South Carolina badly needs rain!" commented Sarah S. through Facebook.
The same can be said for far northern Florida, Georgia and southeastern North Carolina where the United States Drought Monitor reported last Thursday that a severe to extreme drought was occurring.
Exactly where the heavy rain will set up across the East Coast will become clearer in the upcoming days as the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center pinpoints Irene`s landfall destination.
Until that time, the entire East Coast, from the Interstate 95 corridor to the Appalachian Mountains, should closely monitor the progress of the storm.
Irene`s track through the East Coast will also determine the severity of the damaging wind threat. A path farther inland could cause Irene`s winds to lessen faster than if the storm were to hug the coastline.
By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist