Category Two Hurricane Irene Could Hit Category Four, the Carolinas

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CARIBBEAN SEA - AUGUST 22:  In this handout GOES satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Irene reaches hurricane strength as it moves across Puerto Rico towards Hispaniola August 22, 2011 in the Caribbean Sea. Irene, the first hurricane of the Atlantic storm season, brought torrential rains and winds to Puerto Rico, downing trees and powerlines and flooding streets. The expected path will bring Irene through the Bahamas and is likely to hit Florida and up the east coast of the U.S.  (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
CARIBBEAN SEA - AUGUST 22: In this handout GOES satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Irene reaches hurricane strength as it moves across Puerto Rico towards Hispaniola August 22, 2011 in the Caribbean Sea. Irene, the first hurricane of the Atlantic storm season, brought torrential rains and winds to Puerto Rico, downing trees and powerlines and flooding streets. The expected path will bring Irene through the Bahamas and is likely to hit Florida and up the east coast of the U.S. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images) Photo: Handout/2011 NOAA

After lashing the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and leaving nearly a million people in Puerto Rico without power, Hurricane Irene is expected to take a northern turn toward the Bahamas tomorrow. Currently, the National Hurricane Center is recording winds of 100 miles per hour, and the storm is expected to intensify from category two to category three by Thursday afternoon. At that point it, should be near Miami, Florida. While it's impossible to know which way the storm will move over the next few days, the Center's pattern predictions indicate it could hit southern Florida or the Carolinas on Friday. At that point, it has the potential to be a category four storm, with winds between 130 and 155 miles per hour. Come on, Irene!

Hurricane Irene gets stronger, projected as Category 4 [Miami Herald]