At the end of a long evening of dancing, an audience favorite for my band is the folk standard Good Night, Irene. We might have occasion to sing it a lot in coming days, as my friend and hurricane guru Dr. Phil just advised us that Irene might be the "real deal" for our region.
The images below show two things, as of this posting at noon on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. The first is the predicted path of the hurricane. The path gets wider in successive days as the uncertainty is greater. The range of error is much narrower in the immediate future.
The second map indicates the likelihood of tropical-storm winds being sustained at the surface for at least one minute. Again, this is a near certainty in a narrow band ahead of the storm, with decreasing likelihood to either side of the path and in higher latitudes.
NOTE: These maps are static, go to the Irene page at the National Hurricane Center for the latest information, updated maps, and advisories.