As of 1pm Sunday, Tropical Storm Irene is dumping heavy rain on the northern Leeward Islands and the system is expected to strengthen as it heads toward Puerto Rico. The National Hurricane Center says Irene could become a hurricane Monday, especially if its track takes it primarily over the water, where it is more likely to gain speed and energy. So far, the 9th named storm of the 2011 hurricane season has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Sustained winds must reach 74 mph for the storm to become a hurricane.
A projection of Irene's track have it moving directly through Puerto Rico Sunday, into Cuba Wenesday, and into the southern coast of Florida by Friday.