#AceWeatherReport – Aug.22: With a track expected to bring the potential hurricane along the coast of the Northeast, Henri will incite dangerous beach risks throughout the weekend….
#AceWeatherDesk says AccuWeather forecasters were growing more concerned Thursday that Henri, which was on the cusp of hurricane status and is expected to intensify in the coming days, will move close enough to stir more than just seas along the East Coast this weekend.
Updated Aug. 20, 2021 7:38 AM BST:
As of 11 p.m. on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Henri (pronounced: ahn-REE) was a strong tropical storm with sustained winds of 65 mph — just 10 mph shy of hurricane force. The center of the storm was located 415 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and 800 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts. It was moving west-northwestward at 8 mph.
Through the end of the week, Henri will continue to push away from Bermuda and draw nearer to the Carolina coastline and over the bath-warm waters of the Gulf Stream. In doing so, the system will have the opportunity to gain wind intensity and become a hurricane.
“A cold front approaching the eastern U.S. will be able to steer Henri, allowing its forward movement to turn more northerly later this week,” said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
This timing should keep Henri from making landfall along the Southeast Atlantic coast. Even still, beaches from Savannah, Georgia, to Jones Beach, New York, can expect some indirect impacts from the storm.
Beachgoers trying to soak up the last bit of summer warmth with a trip to the beaches should use caution when entering the water. The final weekends of August are big with vacationers who visit places like North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the Jersey Shore, Montauk, New York, and Nantucket and Cape Cod in New England.
Water temperatures were close to the peak for the year and were inviting in all of those places. As of Thursday, the ocean temperatures off the Outer Banks were 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The water temperature at beaches in Atlantic City was 79.0 F, 74.3 F in the waters off Montauk and 75.6 F near Nantucket. However, AccuWeather forecasters warn that dangers such as rough surf and strong rip currents will be a concern through Saturday in this zone.
A 50-year-old father and his 28-year-old son were killed in a rip current near the Oak Island Pear in North Carolina on Wednesday afternoon, according to WECT. Bystanders pulled the father from the water, but emergency responders were unable to save him. A two-hour search ensued for his son, who was still missing, and his body was later recovered.
According to data from NOAA, more people have died as a result of rip currents on a yearly basis over the last decade than from lightning strikes or due to impacts from extreme cold combined.
Into the weekend, AccuWeather meteorologists will monitor several factors to determine Henri’s exact path, which will determine impacts beyond dangerous surf conditions.
At this time, AccuWeather meteorologists believe Henri will not make a northward turn until later on Friday. Should the northward turn wait until Friday night, Henri will be able to close in on the East Coast and possibly make a landfall in New England. In fact, forecasters are growing increasingly confident that a landfall will occur in southeastern New England later this weekend.
Whether Henri makes landfall in the United States or not, the combination of the front and Henri may displace some moisture to the north and west of Henri’s center later on Saturday. As that happens, heavy rain may pour down over portions of northern New Jersey, northeastern Pennsylvania, southern New York and Connecticut.
The heaviest rain is likely to stay closer to Henri’s exact track and will arrive on Sunday across parts of southeastern New England. Across the Massachusetts Cape and islands, 2-4 inches of rain is forecast, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 8 inches possible.
The rain could prove to be more than just a nuisance for vacationers, and that amount could result in flooding problems.
Residents in the Northeast and New England who will face another round of rain by the end of the weekend may still be cleaning up after tropical downpours unleashed by Tropical Rainstorm Fred. Since Fred unloaded several inches of rain, Henri’s second dose of heavy, tropical rainfall may trigger flash flooding in the region more easily.
This area will also be the most susceptible to damaging wind gusts from Henri. Widespread wind gusts of 40-60 mph may just swipe southeastern New England and blast areas stretching from eastern Long Island to the Massachusetts cape. The strongest wind gusts are most likely, however, to be over the water as long as Henri does not make landfall.
Winds of this magnitude will be capable of causing minor damage, as well as funneling water into bays and inlets and raising the water level along the coast.
Henri’s arrival to New England will coincide with a full moon on Sunday. This combination could bring higher tides and more widespread coastal flooding than during a different lunar phase.
There have been 32 tropical systems that have passed within 100 nautical miles of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, since 1950, according to AccuWeather Senior Weather Editor and meteorologist Jesse Ferrell. The most recent was Elsa earlier this year, just before it lost its tropical storm status.
Thirteen hurricanes have tracked within 100 nautical miles of Nantucket, Massachusetts, since 1950. (NOAA)
The most recent hurricane to pass closely offshore was Arthur in 2014, which caused power outages, flooding and winds up to 63 mph at Nantucket. In that same timeframe since 1950, 13 of the storms were hurricane strength as they moved near the area, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data.
The most memorable storm to impact Massachusetts in recent history was Hurricane Bob in 1991. Bob made landfalls in Rhode Island and Maine and caused $1 billion in damage in Massachusetts. Winds greater than 100 mph and severe coastal flooding blasted Massachusetts during Bob’s rampage.
Further back in history, other famous hurricanes to affect New England include “The Great New England Hurricane” in 1938, which crashed ashore as a Category 3 storm on Long Island, and Hurricane Edna in 1954, which moved directly over Martha’s Vineyard. In 1954, Hurricane Carol set the scene for an iconic photo of Edgewood Yacht Club in Rhode Island surrounded by extreme storm surge.
The Edgewood Yacht Club was surrounded by water amid Hurricane Carol’s storm surge in 1954. (NOAA)
Next week, Henri is forecast to shift northeastward and narrowly miss the southern tip of Nova Scotia. The south- and east-facing coasts of the province will be most susceptible not only to gusty winds but also to coastal flooding as Henri passes just to the south.
Heavy, tropical rainfall will expand farther inland across Nova Scotia, bringing with it the threat of flooding.
People that are planning a weekend trip to a destination to this portion of Atlantic Canada should continue to check the AccuWeather forecast so that they can plan accordingly.
#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.22: 2021:
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