VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. — The White House says President Barack Obama is cutting his Martha’s Vineyard vacation short because of Hurricane Irene. He’ll return to Washington tonight instead of Saturday afternoon.

Spokesman Josh Earnest says Obama made the decision shortly after urging Americans in Hurricane  Irene’s path to heed warnings about the storm. Earnest says Obama decided it would be more prudent for him to be at the White House at the end of the day, instead of in the New England area.

Irene is expected to make landfall Saturday in North Carolina and then head toward New England.