- Henri is expected to strengthen over the western Atlantic.
- Henri may track close to eastern New England late weekend into early next week.
- High surf and rip currents are expected along the East Coast by late week.
Tropical Storm Henri is expected to strengthen into a hurricane over the Atlantic, but its exact path and strength when it draws closer to New England are still uncertain.
Residents of the Northeast U.S., especially New England, should monitor Henri’s progress closely since it could bring wind, rain and storm surge impacts to parts of the region late weekend into early next week.
Henri is located more than 800 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and is moving west at nearly 10 mph.
The storm is somewhat disorganized right now because it’s battling wind shear and dry air.
Forecast Track, Intensity Uncertain
Henri is forecast to turn toward the northwest late this week, followed by a turn toward the north and eventually the northeast. All of these turns will be influenced in part by a ridge of high pressure. Some decrease in wind shear could allow Henri to intensify into a hurricane as it turns about.
The steering of Henri becomes more complicated by this weekend when the system is influenced by an upper-level disturbance over the Northeast and blocking high pressure to its north. Those factors should at least slow Henri’s forward progress down some as it makes its closest approach to New England.
Henri’s circulation center is likely to move within the forecast path shown below, but whether this track is directly into New England or some distance off the East Coast will be determined by the delicate steering pattern mention above.
For now, the National Hurricane Center forecasts Henri to be a strong tropical storm when makes its closest approach to New England because the system will encounter cooler waters and some possible increased wind shear during that time.
The bottom line is that Henri could bring wind, rain and storm surge impacts to at least parts of New England beginning as soon as the late weekend. Those in New England should keep up to date and make preparations for possible impacts.
In general, here’s an outline from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Boston of what the impacts could be in relation to the future track of Henri:
– Damaging wind: highest winds will be focused east of the track.
– Flooding rain: heaviest rain should be focused along/west of the track.
– Storm surge flooding: focused east of the track.
The NWS mentions that tides will also be running higher than normal this weekend, which could worsen the impact of any storm surge flooding.
East Coast High Surf, Rip Current Threat
One impact from Henri that is more certain is that it will send increased swells to the East Coast by late week.
High surf and life-threatening rip currents could impact beaches from parts of the Southeast to the mid-Atlantic by the end of the week. The high surf and rip currents will then spread northward up the East Coast this weekend.
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