Influence of Hurricane Irene is diminishing in Costa Rica

Hurricane Irene is a major hurricane, and satellite data shows its diameter is now about one-third the length of the U.S. Atlantic coastline. Here it is still over the Bahamas. Photo: National Aeronautics and Space Administration GOES-13

As Hurricane Irene moves north to threaten the United States, the humidity it poured into Costa Rica is diminishing.

The Instituto Meteorológico Nacional said a return to the pattern typical of this season will take place today and into the weekend. That means warm mornings with clouds and rain in the afternoon.

Because of the motion of the hurricane, much of the moisture generated by Irene fell on the Pacific coast. Meanwhile in the Atlantic, Tropical Depression 10 has formed around a low pressure area that is moving West. That will affect the weather here next week.

At midnight, Irene was about 460 miles or 740 kilometers south southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It has sustained winds of 115 mph or 185 kph and was moving due north at 14 mph or 22 kph.

Eastern U.S. states are scrambling to prepare for a possible onslaught from the Category three powerful hurricane.
Forecasters Thursday issued hurricane watches and warnings for much of the eastern coast from North Carolina through New Jersey, where the storm is expected to hit starting on Saturday. Authorities in some of the affected areas are already evacuating residents and beach visitors.

The governors of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and New York have declared states of emergency to free
up resources ahead of Hurricane Irene.

In Virginia, the U.S. Navy ordered ships at a major port out to sea where it said they can better weather such storms. Meanwhile, the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, urged residents to prepare to move to higher ground, saying some areas of the city could be ordered to evacuate.

The storm pounded The Bahamas with winds as high as 185 kph, although the National Hurricane center said the storm’s effects should begin to diminish there. Irene is currently a Category Three storm on a five-point scale, and the hurricane center has labeled it dangerous.

The head of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Craig Fugate, told reporters Thursday that Irene will not just be a coastal storm. He said the storm will have an impact well inland, both from flooding and winds, which can topple trees and cause power outages.

National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read said even the nation’s capital could be directly affected.

Irene is the first hurricane to seriously threaten the United States in three years.

Authorities say Irene could cause flooding in the U.S. mid-Atlantic and New England regions, where soil is saturated from recent heavy rains.

The core of the hurricane will pass well offshore of the east coast of central and northern Florida today.

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