Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hurricane Irene Expected To Skirt KSC

NASA is remaining in a state of alert here at Kennedy Space Center, keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irene and its projected path.

But as of 2 p.m., the National Hurricane Center issued a forecast that shows the east coast of Florida out of the projected cone of uncertainty.

And NASA officials say the storm is expected to be about 201 statute miles east of Cape Canaveral when it passes the Space Coast in the overnight hours early Friday.

KSC remains in Hurricane Condition IV, an initial level of alert issued when winds of 58 mph or greater are expected within 72 hours. Officials did not raise the alert to Hurricane Condition III during a meting this afternoon.

The Category II storm is approaching the Turk and Caicos Islands with maximum wind speeds of about 100 mph. A hurricane warning also is in effect for the southeastern, central and northwestern Bahamas. Meteorologists believe it could strengthen into a Category IV storm as it approaches the Carolinas and Chesapeake Bay.

ABOUT THE IMAGE: Click to enlarge the projected path of Hurricane Irene as of 2 p.m. today. Meteorologists at the Air Force 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron prepared the map with data from the National Hurricane Center. You can also click the enlarged version to get an even bigger, more detailed view.

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