Hurricane Irene continues to slowly strengthen with the latest peak winds measured at 80 mph. All indications are that current atmospheric conditions will favor general additional development over the next few days which could result in a major hurricane (i.e. Category 3 or higher). Currently, the hurricane appears to be headed towards the Bahamas and will likely stay just to the east of Florida -perhaps on its way to making landfall somewhere on the South or North Carolina coastline by the early part of the weekend. Irene may then ride right up or just off the east coast which would generate heavy rainfall later this weekend from New Jersey to New England and as far inland as the I-95 corridor. Stay tuned as we progress through the week.