‘Irene has a long reach’

August 26, 2011 image of 'Irene.' Click on the image to be taken to the National Weather Service.

Six years to the week of Hurricane Katrina, “Irene has a long reach,” reports NASA’s Earth Observatory. “The storm is large, spanning nearly 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from east to west in this image (below). It could intensify slightly in the next day or two. The storm’s currently forecasted track takes it over the Outer Banks and along the U.S. East Coast before going ashore over New England.” Click here to be taken to NASA, here for NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. UPDATE: Click here for the Washington Post’s live hurricane tracker.

‘Irene’ in 3-D

As Hurricane ‘Irene’ intensifies in the Caribbean, NASA offers this perspective revealing “an area of deep convection (shown in red) near the storm’s center where precipitation-sized particles are being carried aloft. These tall towers are associated with strong thunderstorms responsible for the area of intense rain near the center of Irene seen in the previous image. They can be a precursor to strengthening as they indicate areas within a storm where vast amounts of heat are being released. This heating, known as latent heating, is what is drives a storm’s circulation and intensification.” For more, click here here to be taken to NASA’s Earth Observatory.