Scroll down. There are five posts on the hurricane:
1) Latest statistics on the storm
2) Duke prof welcomes Irene, says it's good for Outer Banks
3) Threat to Outer Banks and eastern seaboard
4) Situation at Duke and in Durham
5) Basketball team tries to fly in before storm.
The following are 5 AM satistics. The National Hurricane Center will update every three hours throughout the day. Unfortunately, Fact Checker is unavailable, and will not update here until midnight Friday.
✔✔✔✔✔ The storm has weakened just a bit to Category 2. However, some forecasters believe it will landfall as a Category 3, meaning "devastating" effect. There seems to be no longer a danger of a Category 4 "catastrophic" effect.
Here is the discussion on this point from the Hurricane Center:
WATER VAPOR IMAGERY AND ANALSYES FROM CIMSS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
WISCONSIN SUGGEST THAT IRENE IS ENCOUNTERING LIGHT TO MODERATE
SOUTHWESTERLY VERTICAL WIND SHEAR. THIS...ALONG WITH THE CURRENT
CYCLONE STRUCTURE AND DRY AIR ADVECTING TOWARD THE HURRICANE IN
WATER VAPOR IMAGERY...ARGUE AGAINST SIGNIFICANT STRENGTHENING....
AND INDEED THE INTENSITY GUIDANCE SHOWS LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH
BEFORE LANDFALL. ON THE OTHER HAND...THE EYEWALL CONVECTION IS
CURRENTLY STRONG...AND THE SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES ALONG THE
FORECAST TRACK ARE 28-29C. THIS SUGGESTS SOME MODEST STRENGTHENING
Sustained winds 110 an hour.
Going north at 14 miles an hour, unusually slow since many storms move at 30.
Pressure 942 mb. Very low.
Eye 20 miles wide
Landfall estimate 36 hours (5 PM Saturday)