By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
Aug 23, 2011; 7:01 AM ET
Irene is projected to become the strongest hurricane to hit the Carolinas since 1996 this weekend. Six years have passed since the entire United States endured a blow like Irene is forecast to unleash.
The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center is expecting Irene to blast onto the Carolina coastline in between Myrtle Beach and Morehead City this weekend as a strong Category 3 hurricane.
Irene even has a good chance of strengthen into a dangerous Category 4 hurricane by Thursday, and it is not out of the question that Irene maintains this powerful strength through its landfall in the Carolinas.
Whether at strong Category 3 or 4 status, Irene will pose a serious threat to lives and property at landfall as reported by AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
Residents of the Carolinas should not underestimate the power Irene has the potential to unleash, especially since these states have not been the target of such a fierce hurricane in 15 years.