In North Carolina, each late summer/fall brings the threat of Altantic hurricanes. For those with interests on the coast and in the coastal plain, each tropical wave coming off Africa generates interest…where is it going? Early season, into the Caribbean. This time of year, though, storms tend to curve north and catch NC where it sticks out into the ocean. Two weeks ago, I was on vacation at our family’s house on Emerald Isle. Tonight, we’re back in Chapel Hill, watching Irene creep north-north-east toward Bogue banks. It seems to be turning a bit more to the east, and may miss landfall in Carteret county. Earlier today, it had been projected to come ashore within 20 miles of Emerald Isle. It now looks like it could stay mostly offshore, but there’s still likely to be a lot of wind and rain. Right now, per the Weather Channel, the wind is ~30mph at Emerald Isle and is out of the northeast with heavy rain. Irene had been projected to carry 120mph wind onto shore, but it looks like it may be more like 95-100. Currently, it’s projected to be ~75mph at Emerald Isle. The fact that the eye is likely to pass east means that the worst winds will be from the north to northeast, and will flatten out the surf. It is likely to exacerbate sound-side flooding, as with Isabelle in 2003, but may prevent ocean overwash on Bogue Banks. Time will tell. The eye should pass Cape Lookout early tomorrow morning.