The storm was last night raging as a category three hurricane with its eye moving between Rum Cay and Long Island in the Bahamas.
Last night, Irene was about 185 miles south east of Nassau in the Bahamas, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. A hurricane warning is in effect for the southeastern, central and northwestern Bahamas as the core of Irene will move across the central Bahamas Wednesday night and over the northwestern Bahamas on Thursday brining hurricane force winds.
Irene is also expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches over the Bahamas during the next 36 hours.
Interests from the Carolinas northward through New England in the U.S. are being urged to monitor the progress of Irene while surf swells generated by Irene will begin affecting portions of the coast of the southeastern United States today.