Hurricane Chris, spinning in the Atlantic about 200 miles from Cape Hatteras, has gained peak winds of 75 mph — just over the threshold for a Category 1 hurricane — and they could increase to 100 mph by early Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
And with the erstwhile Beryl threatening to regain tropical-storm strength, this could be a wild several days for the North Atlantic and the East Coast beaches, Evan Duffey, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, said Tuesday.
“All along the East Coast there’s going to be issues,” he added. He said to expect “a lot of prolonged swells pushing up against the coast.”
He said a 27-foot wave was reported out over the open Atlantic. “That’s pretty spectacular.”
Chris is the season’s third named tropical storm; something that on average doesn’t occur until Aug. 13. But Duffey said storms have been forming almost in spite of conditions and that right now the environment isn’t all that favorable for a harvest of tropical storms.
But Chris’s influence is going to be felt on the Jersey and Delaware beaches even though it is forecast to remain well offshore and before approaching the Canadian maritimes.
It contribute to beach erosion, and, more likely, rip currents, the National Weather Service in Mount Holly said in its forecast discussion.
The weather service sees a “moderate risk” of rip currents on Delaware and Jersey beaches on Tuesday and at least a moderate risk was likely for the rest of the workweek, said Trent Davis, a weather service meteorologist in Mount Holly.
The hurricane said the Chris-related swells “could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”
In addition, at the Shore the new moon will generate higher-than-normal tides Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the weather service says, and swells associated with Chris could exacerbate any tidal flooding and result in minor beach erosion at the Jersey Shore.
Meanwhile, former Hurricane Beryl is showing signs of regrouping in the Caribbean and could make a comeback as a tropical storm, the hurricane center says
It gives Beryl’s remnants a 50-50 chance of re-earning a name — with peak winds of at least 39 mph — by the weekend.