Tropical Storm Henri may turn into a hurricane as it moves toward the southern New England and eastern Long Island coasts.
Forecasters issued a hurricane watch Friday morning on Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts, warning of heavy rainfall and flooding on Sunday and Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Associated Press.
The storm originated in the Atlantic Ocean, about 370 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and 780 miles southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts, delivering maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, reported the AP.
The storm watch means that there may be a hurricane or tropical storm conditions within 48 hours which could bring life-threatening weather, according to CNN. Even if the storm does not make landfall, it may still deliver high surf and rip currents.
“It should be noted that as Henri gains latitude and moves near New England, the wind field is expected to expand,” the NHC said. “Therefore, users are reminded to not focus on the exact forecast points as impacts will extend far from the center.”
The storm may directly hit parts of Massachusetts expected to see high winds, heavy rain and storm surges, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boston.
“Generally, with tropical storms the biggest impact is from flooding rains,” Margaret Curtis, a meteorologist with the NWS in Portland, Maine, told CNN.
New England will face some remnants of Tropical Storm Fred this week, but Curtis explained that Henri brings with it hazards that result from high surf.
“For the coast, high surf and pounding can create coastal flooding and erosion,” she said.
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Harry Wilmerding on August 20, 2021
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