The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast shows that Rhode Island is in line for a direct hit by Hurricane Irene as the powerful first hurricane of the season makes its way up the Atlantic seaboard this week.
Late Tuesday night, the eye of the storm was tracked northwest of Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic, and was expected to hit the Bahamas Wednesday night.
The NWS predictors also show the storm picking up strength from there as it tracks north along the Atlantic coastline. The storm is likely to make landfall in North Carolina Saturday before reaching Virginia Saturday evening.
Forecast models show the storm tracking directly into southern New England by early Monday and losing some power.
Waves at are expected to begin building to 4-foot swells on Thursday ahead of the storm, then reach 6.5 to 9.5 feet on Saturday, according to MagicSeaweed.com, which the surfing community relies upon for marine forecasts.
On Sunday, the big waves are expected to pound Middletown's southern shore, with swells gathering at about 12.5 feet by 6 a.m. before reaching 23 feet by noon Sunday.
Middletown Patch will continue to follow Hurricane Irene as it develops over the Atlantic.
For more information
- Click on the "Keep me posted" button below to receive automated email updates about Hurricane Irene.
- Visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.
- Visit the Town of Middletown website for announcements and to sign up for CodeRed, the town's automated phone and email messaging system that sends out instant public safety and emergency announcements. (Look for the icon on the low left side of the town's website homepage.)