Current storm-track prediction models are showing that Irene, currently a Category 3 Hurricane with winds of around 115 mph, will track inland after making landfall in western Long Island Sound. By that time the storm may have downgraded to a Category 1 or even a tropical storm, with winds of around 40 to 60 mph. Heavy rain is expected throughout the region, and there may be a significant storm surge. Winds for southeastern New England are predicted to be around 40 mph from the east by Sunday afternoon.
According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Randy Adkins: “There remains uncertainty to the precise track of Irene, but given that this is a very large storm with tropical storm-force winds some 250 miles from the center, impacts will be felt to some degree or another from eastern Virginia up through New England, including the heavily populated Northeast urban corridor.
“Wind gusts to at least tropical storm force (~40 mph), and heavy rain can be expected for Philadelphia, New York and Boston during the day Sunday with the worst of the storm early in the morning farther south and during the afternoon farther north. The strongest winds will be along and just east of the track of Irene, so for now we expect hurricane conditions to be felt along the coast of the Delmarva Peninsula tomorrow night and for the Jersey Shore and across Long Island on Sunday. Any shift east or west will clearly alter which areas will deal with the brunt of this storm.
“Irene will weaken to a tropical storm Sunday night as the storm tracks into Massachusetts. Heavy rain will move into New England at that time with flooding expected in many areas from southern New York into Quebec and New Brunswick. Winds will be gusty over a broad area, perhaps gusting to 50 mph in places such as Boston and Portland by the evening.”