After the hitting Bahamas, Hurricane Irene is making its way toward the U.S. Northeast, forecasters predict. Here are the latest images of the hurricane. Above, Hurricane Irene on Aug. 24.
A panoramic view of Hurricane Irene, photographed by the crew of the International Space Station on Aug. 22 from a point over the coastal waters of Venezuela. At the time, the newly-formed hurricane had 80 mph winds and was just north of the Mona Passage between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, preparing to trek west-northwestward toward the southern Bahamas.
Above is another photo of the growing hurricane taken from the International Space Station on Aug. 23. This view looks toward the southwest at part of Hurricane Irene as it brews near the northern Bahamas, including Great Abaco Island on the photo's lower right and Andros Island under a thunderstorm on the center right. Irene was probably centered over Acklins Island when the photo was snapped, according to meteorologists.
Hurricane Irene hit the southeast Bahamas on Wednesday (Aug. 24), passing directly over Crooked Island. In the above satellite image, the hurricane's eye is somewhat obscured by the island.
This breathtaking shot, taken the morning of Aug. 24 in Boynton Beach, Fla., shows a rainstorm's looming clouds over a rainbow, with a faint double rainbow overhead. While Hurricane Irene was hitting the Bahamas at the time, the storm was gathering strength, with gusty winds and rain affecting Florida's beaches.
This 3-D view of Hurricane Irene was captured on August 24 by a NASA satellite. The red areas indicate rainfall of about 2 inches or more per hour, while the yellow and green areas show moderate rainfall of between .78 to 1.57 inches per hour.
Dania Beach, a city in Broward County, Fla., also saw fearsome thunderstorm clouds approaching on the morning of Aug. 25.
This satellite image shows Hurricane Irene directly over the southern Bahamas on Aug. 24. The category 3 hurricane's winds increased to speeds of 120 mph (195 kmh) as it passed over the area.
This National Weather Service graphic, based on National Hurricane Center data, predicts Hurricane Irene's path from Aug. 25 to Aug. 30 along the U.S. East Coast. With surface wind speeds equal or exceeding 58 mph (93 kph), state and National Weather Service officials have begun urging New Jersey and North Carolina residents to prepare for Hurricane Irene now. Even New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is taking the hurricane's threat seriously, advising New Yorkers to stay alert, as the storm could come near New York City on Aug. 28.
Another graphic depicting the hurricane's projected path. If Irene makes landfall in the U.S., it will become the first hurricane to do so since destructive and costly Hurricane Ike pummeled the Texas coast in 2008.
In preparation for Irene's arrival, workers on Faith Baptist Church Road in Edgecombe County, N.C., are harvesting ripe tobacco as quickly as possible in a preventative effort to limit the amount of damage the storm's whipping winds may unleash upon this summer's crop.
This satellite image captured Hurricane Irene moving through the Bahamas on the morning of Aug. 25. To the east was the newly formed Tropical Depression 10, which is on the far right of the image. Irene is much larger than the tropical depression 10, as the hurricane is estimated to be about 1/3 the size of the entire U.S. East coast.
At the time this NASA satellite image was taken on Aug. 25 at 8:15 a.m. ET (1215 UTC), Hurricane Irene was still packing a punch with 115 mph winds. Although the eye has disappeared from this NOAA GOES-East satellite imagery, the storm is not weakening and appears to be going through an eyewall replacement cycle. The National Hurricane Center is still predicting Irene to reach category 4 status within the next day. Hurricane and tropical storm watches are in effect for much of the Carolina coastline.
This photo of Hurricane Irene was photographed from onboard the International Space station at 19:14:09 GMT (3:14 p.m. ET) on Aug. 24, 2011. The image, captured with a 38-mm lens, reveals the eye at center frame.
Vilano Beach, Fla., also got a taste of Hurricane Irene's still far-off fury on the morning of Aug. 26.
Another photo taken from onboard the space station on Aug. 24 reveals the eye of Hurricane Irene.
The above NOAA image shows the position of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm 10 on the morning of Aug. 26, with Irene about 375 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, N.C., according to the National Hurricane Center.
Above is another shot of Dania Beach in Broward County, Fla., as threatening storm clouds raced overhead before the rain began to fall during the early morning hours of Aug. 25.
This image was taken by NOAA's GOES-EAST satellite on Aug. 26 as Hurricane Irene moved between the Bahamas toward the U.S. East Coast.
This amazing photo of approaching storm clouds was taken on Aug. 25, while workers and officials in Washington, D.C., scrambled to prepare for Hurricane Irene to make landfall on Saturday in North Carolina. The area has received a tropical storm warning, leading to train service cancelations and Mayor Vincent Gray urging residents to study emergency evacuation routes from Washington.
This photo captured the west edge of Hurrican Irene as it passed by northern Florida. It was taken the morning of Aug. 26, about 20 miles west of Jacksonville, Fla.
Cameras onboard the International Space Station captured this view from 230 miles above the Earth of Hurricane Irene as it churned over the Bahamas at 3:10 p.m. EDT on Aug. 24, 2011. (This is a still from a video.)
This shot was taken on the New Hampshire Seacoast in Rye. Though Hurricane Irene has yet to reach there, it painted a beautiful sky on the morning of Aug. 27, 2011. [Image Gallery: Sunrise and Sunsets]
irginia National Guard Soldiers from the West Point-based 237th Engineer Company prepare for possible duty in response to Hurricane Irene in Onancock August 26 by staging vehicles, equipment and fuel. The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring up to 300 personnel on state active duty for possible missions including high water transport and light debris removal.
Photo taken on Aug. 26, 2011, as Hurricane Irene passes Amelia Island, one of the southernmost Sea Islands, a chain of barrier islands along the U.S. east coast. [See more photos of barrier islands]
Amelia Island under the fury of Hurricane Irene on Aug. 26, 2011. Like other barrier islands, Amelia has been shaped by years and years of waves and tides. Though these narrow stretches of sand are vulnerable to pounding by storms, geologists say they are surprisingly resilient. [Read: How Barrier Islands Survive Storms]
Hurricane Irene makes herself known, with dark storm clouds and rough surf on Amelia Island, Fla.
Hurricane Irene pass over Amelia Island, Fla., on Aug. 26, 2011.
A surfer and birds at sunrise at Kill Devil Hills, N.C. on Aug. 26, 2011, under the dark skies cast by Hurricane Irene.
Sunrise at Kill Devil Hills, on the Outer Banks, N.C., on Aug. 26, 2011.
A TV crew sets up on the beach in Kill Devil Hills, on the Outer Banks, N.C., on Aug. 26, 2011.