BANGALORE Hurricane Irene is turning north-northeast, as tropical storm conditions spread inland over southeastern North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said late Friday.
Irene, a Category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, has weakened a little as tropical storm force winds arrive along the coast of the Carolinas.
At 8.00 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT) the hurricane was closer, located about 180 miles south-southwest of Cape Lookout, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds at 100 miles per hour.
"The core of the hurricane will approach the coast of North Carolina tonight and pass near or over the coast on Saturday. The hurricane was forecast to move near or over the mid-Atlantic coast Saturday night and move over southern New England on Sunday," the NHC said.
The latest NHC report said an extremely dangerous storm surge would raise water levels by as much as 6 to 11 feet above ground level in the hurricane warning area in North Carolina.
(Reporting by Antonita Devotta)