Irene, the first hurricane of this year’s North Atlantic tropical storm season, is heading for the Bahamas and is expected to move on to the United States in the next few days according to the Met Office.

The hurricane currently has sustained wind speeds close to 100 mph making it category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and has already impacted parts of the Caribbean.

 

Julian Heming, tropical prediction scientist for the Met Office, said: “While we have seen a lot of relatively short-lived and weak tropical storms over the North Atlantic this year, Irene is the first to develop into a hurricane.

“We expect it to pass across the Bahamas and continue to gain strength as it heads towards the US.”

Irene’s expected track can be viewed on a new Met Office tool specifically designed to monitor tropical storms. Called StormTracker, it provides an interactive global picture of current storm activity to help quantify risk and aid decision making.

StormTracker is available as a free basic version aimed at the public and advanced versions for professional risk managers.

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