Tropical Storm Irene formed in the Atlantic Ocean Saturday, and is forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane by Monday. Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for Puerto Rico, and Hurricane Warnings issued for portions of the Dominican Republic.

WHERE IS IT HEADED?

It's still very early, but the official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center has Irene passing over the Dominican Republic as a Hurricane late Monday night, then the eastern edge of Cuba by Wednesday.

A few models have the storm interacting with a ridge of high pressure keeping Irene in the Caribbean, while others bring it east of Florida. The official track will compensate, placing it between the two models.

Thursday, the storm is forecast to make a turn toward the southern tip of Florida as a Tropical Storm.


Tropical Storm IRENE

FAMILIAR PATH?

Dry air and Saharan dust have been the main killers of tropical systems this year, along with friction as the storms travel over land.

Irene is starting out on a similar path as Tropical Storm Emily did in late July. As Emily moved over Hispaniola, she lost steam, and her storm status. She then reformed and continued to move away from the U.S. mainland.

Irenevapor

IMPACT ON VIRGINIA
At the moment, it's still to early to tell what we might get out of Irene. Forecast models have Irene coming ashore late next week near Florida, then bringing rainfall up the east coast by the weekend.

A lot can happen in a week. Irene's forecast is in the beginning stages, but is certainly promising for rain in drought-stricken areas if the models hold true.
Stay tuned. We'll be bringing you the latest information in our hurricane center.

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