Hurricane Irene 2011: Tropical Storm Rages On Across East Coast

08/28/2011 08:27 am ET | Updated Oct 28, 2011

UPDATE:

By SAMANTHA GROSS and MITCH WEISS, Associated Press

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says that Irene has lost hurricane strength and made landfall on New York's Coney Island.

Forecasters say Irene's winds have fallen to 65 mph.

They say Irene should move over New England by the afternoon. Officials also warn that isolated tornadoes are possible in the northeast throughout the morning.

PREVIOUSLY:

By WEATHER UNDERGROUND, Associated Press

Irene will continue moving up the East Coast on Sunday, and is expected to decrease to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds ranging from 74 to 95 mph. The broad and intense system will continue to cause havoc across the Eastern Seaboard, as it moves northward through New England.

Tropical storm force winds were extending outward up to 290 miles from the center. On Sunday, Irene will produce more heavy rainfall with accumulations ranging between 6 to 12 inches from the Mid-Atlantic states, over New England, and into the Northeast, with some areas likley to see up to 18 inches of rain.

While intense downpours will allow for flooding to persist across the region, the dangerous storm surge will produce much damage and flooding for the coastal areas.

Wave heights along the New Jersey shore are expected to reach 15 to 20 feet and a storm surge of 3 to 6 feet is expected near Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sunday morning during the time of high tide. High waves and storm surge could produce tremendous damage along the coast and low-lying structures.

For New York city, the main concern is storm surge. The latest predictions estimate a 5 to 8 foot storm surge at high tide in New York Harbor, which may flood the walls that protect the south end of Manhattan. Additionally, severe thunderstorms imbedded in Irene have a history of producing strong and damaging tornadoes.

The coastal regions of New England remain under a slight threat of severe thunderstorm development, which may be capable of producing tornadoes. Temperatures in the Lower 48 states ranged Saturday from a morning low of 37 degrees at West Yellowstone, Mont., to a high of 109 degrees at Killeen/Ft Hood, Texas.