Hermine Continues Track Northward

Tropical Storm Watches issued for RI, Cape and Islands, best chance for rain Monday afternoon

As Hermine continues her track northward along the eastern seaboard, she has lost some steam from moving over land, however, a high pressure system situated over northern New England is now forcing Hermine to find a source of energy and that is the warm Atlantic waters off the Carolinas. As of Saturday at 11 a.m., she was centered about 35 miles east-southeast of Duck, North Carolina, and nearly 80 miles southeast of Norfolk, Virginia. The maximum sustained winds were 65 mph as she moved east-northeast at 15 mph.

With the recent update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as of 11 a.m., she has become Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine, meaning she no longer is fueled by or possess the tropical characteristics needed to obtain the status of a Tropical Storm. This does not mean that we've seen the last of Hermine. There is still a chance for Hermine to regain her strength over the mid-Atlantic, which is looking more and more likely with every model update. Hermine is still a large system as southern New England woke up to high level cirrus clouds associated with the far outreaches of Hermine's grasp.

For the next 24 hours, Hermine continues to stay off the coast, but is expected to strengthen. She could become near hurricane strength by Sunday afternoon, but she'll still be positioned off the coast of New Jersey. As of midday Saturday, New Jersey and New York will likely see the brunt of the storm, which is why a Tropical Storm Warning is in place from Delaware, along the New Jersey coast, coastal portions of New York, including Long Island, and even coastal Connecticut.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm force winds are imminent within the next 36 hours. Tropical Storm force winds can range from 39 mph to 57 mph. With Hermine, the tropical storm force winds extend outward at least 200 miles from the central location of the storm. Not only is the high wind going to be a threat through the rest of the holiday weekend, but also the coastal erosion, flooding, and high rip current risk will be just as dangerous.

The timing of this storm coupled with high tide will make for dangerous storm surges, as rising waters will likely flood coastal regions of New Jersey and Long Island within the next 24 to 36 hours. Coastal Connecticut towns could see a storm surge within the next 48 hours. According to the National Hurricane Center, if the storm surge occurs at the same time as high tide, peak surge could be between 2 to 4 feet for coastal regions from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to Bridgeport, Connecticut, but this is the worst case scenario. Off the coast, weather models have continued to project waves between 10 - 15 feet to even cresting at 20 feet well off the coast of New Jersey.

As far as the Tropical Storm Watches issued for Rhode Island, southeast Massachusetts, and the Cape and Islands, this means that tropical storm force winds are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. If you're trying to head to the Cape and the Islands to enjoy the unofficial end to summer, the wind really picks up by Sunday afternoon out of the northeast with gusts up to 35 mph. Clouds also continue to limit the sunshine for the second half of the holiday weekend. If anything, the best place to be for Labor Day is the northern half of New England where they are seeing plenty of sunshine with highs into the 70s. Overnight lows will dip into the upper 40s / low 50s, under mostly clear skies.

Hermine is likely to stick around through Tuesday and Wednesday with the best chance for rain Monday afternoon - early Wednesday especially in the areas included in the extreme drought. However, flooding caused by new rainfall will not be an issue with Hermine- storm surge and high, tropical storm-force winds will have the most impact.

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