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The nation's weather
The nation's weather
By The Associated Press

Weather Underground Forecast for Saturday, August 27, 2011.

Hurricane Irene was expected make landfall over eastern North Carolina on Saturday at Category 1 strength, with winds between 74 mph and 95 mph. Hurricane warnings and watches have been issued for most of the East Coast. The large and intense storm was expected to continue producing hurricane force winds outwards up to 90 miles from the center, with tropical storm force winds up to 290 miles from the center.

These strong winds were expected to cause much damage, while torrential rainfall made flooding a concern. Additionally, dangerous surf was anticipated for the Mid-Atlantic coastal regions as storm surge pushed water levels up by 6 feet to 11 feet above normal tides.

Rainfall totals from 6 inches to 10 inches were expected across eastern North Carolina, while isolated amounts up to 15 inches were likely. Throughout the day, the system was expected to continue moving northward, up the East Coast. The storm was expected to lose strength after moving over land, meaning intensification was not anticipated.

Saturday night the system was expected to move over the Washington D.C., area, and remain at a Category 1 storm at that point, before reducing to a tropical storm overnight into Sunday.

Irene was forecast to be at tropical storm strength with winds between 39 mph and 73 mph as it moved over New England. Coastal regions of the following states have been placed under hurricane warnings and watches: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Temperatures in the lower 48 states Friday ranged from a morning low of 35 degrees at West Yellowstone, Mont. to a high of 111 degrees at Phoenix, Ariz.

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