After pounding the Bahamas, Irene continues to track closer to the U.S. East Coast. Hurricane and tropical storm watches are in effect for areas along the coast, and residents are preparing for the threatening storm.
Chris Scott, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, is closely tracking the storm and says what happens with Irene in the U.S. will have a huge impact on what happens in eastern Canada.
“For Canadians, really anywhere from Montreal to St. John's, have to be aware of the track of this storm because there's still a lot of possibility about where this storm may track,” explains Scott.
“Our concern at this point is that Irene takes an 'Earl-type' track staying just off the shore of the US coast and then affecting the Maritimes in a more significant way than it affects the US.”
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against non-essential travel to the east coast of United States, from Little River Inlet in North Carolina northward to Sandy Hook in New Jersey.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) of Environment Canada issued a tropical cyclone statement on Friday which said the track and intensity of Irene will depend on many changing factors over the next few days.
According to the public weather impacts and warning summary, “It is too early to specify where the heaviest rain and winds will occur due to fluctuations in the track. The storm will likely be undergoing extra-tropical transition at that time.”
Heavy rain and strong winds are expected to affect the eastern regions Sunday evening and into Monday. The CHC says heaviest rainfall typically occurs to the left of the track while the highest winds to the right.
Last year, Hurricane Earl and Hurricane Igor lashed the Atlantic provinces. Earl caused significant damage in Nova Scotia, while Igor had a deadly impact on Newfoundland. The monstrous storm caused an estimated $200 million in damage.
The Weather Network's meteorologist and Storm Hunter, Mark Robinson braved Hurricane Earl and Igor and will be tracking Irene as it barrels up the east coast.
Be sure to check back for the latest updates often. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV for up-to-date coverage as we track this storm.