Irene weakens but still expected to be hurricane when it hits New England - or maybe not

Irene, Saturday morning.Irene, Saturday morning. Source: NASA GOES.

The National Hurricane Center reported at 5 a.m. that Irene weakened overnight but that it still expects the storm to be at hurricane force when it lands on Connecticut and that it will have a large "wind field" as it moves inland. Since it'll be going across western and central Massachusetts, that means they'll get more rain, but we'll get more wind here in the Boston area.

BUT WAIT: Shortly after 8 a.m., Pete Bouchard tweeted:

With Irene ashore in North Carolina, New England dodges a bullet. No landfalling hurricane here.

Bouchard writes we can still expect high winds, lots of rain, downed trees and power lines. On air this morning, he was preceded by an anchorperson who promoted an upcoming feature on hurricane winds with some video of a reporter on a beach:

Standing on the beach, so you don't have to.




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