Irene was born in the Caribbean a year ago today
Irene evolved from a tropical wave that exited the African coast on Aug. 15, 2011, and developed into a tropical depression five days later.
The National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on Aug. 20, 2011 at 7 p.m. when Irene was classified as a tropical storm east of the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and moving west at 22 mph.
At 11 p.m., the storm was approaching the Leeward Islands with no change in strength or forward speed.
But forecasters began warning in that advisory of the possibility of hurricane conditions occurring just two days later in the Dominican Republic.
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