12 AM Tuesday Update
Irene grew in stature on Monday evening with her winds reaching 100 miles per hour as she pulled away from Puerto Rico. There is some indication of additional strengthening on Tuesday as Irene is over very warm Atlantic waters.
Irene is still more than 1,000 miles from the Grand Strand (12AM Tuesday), so while the surf will build as early as Thursday, any rain and wind impacts at Myrtle will not occur until late Friday-Saturday.
Let me state up front the exact track of Irene will be uncertain for 2 more days. At this stage of the waiting game, you have 2 options.
1. Go ahead with your plans and if a Hurricane watch is issued for Myrtle Beach, you will be able to get your deposit back and adjust your plans.
2. If you are not committed, you can easily reorient your trip to say the beautiful Smoky Mountains where Irene will not visit.
Calling All Myrtle Vacationers
I have just perused the latest data from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and based on their expertise I must issue an alert to those planning a late week-weekend trip to the Grand Strand. Hurricane Irene may have a major say-so in your trip.
I will be more specific later Tuesday, but for now, I suggest you contact your hotel/condo owner to make it clear to them, you should not be held accountable for a last minute cancellation, your deposit included.
If you look at the advisory from the NHC you will see a possible South Carolina strike from a 100 mile per hour lady named IRENE by the weekend.
Keep in mind, once a Hurricane Watch is issued, you should be able to demand your money back, no questions asked.
Since IRENE is now within 1,000 miles of the South Carolina coastline, early hurricane precautions are in the making. That means emergency managers are re-doubling their efforts to get residents ready for a possible evacuation.
Any hurricane watch is still 2 days away so there is plenty of time to watch IRENE as she eyes the West Indies (Cuba, Hispaniola and the Bahamas) . Might she stay at sea? Might she hit farther up the coast? Time will tell.
Until then, a comfy week at the beach will feature an afternoon sea breeze and warm sunshine with highs in the mid 80s! Surf temperature off the Garden City Pier is 83.
Here's the link to NHC, the premier hurricane forecasters in the world.