A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the southern parts of New Jersey as Hurricane Hermine is set to make landfall in Florida Thursday night.
The storm became a category 1 hurricane shortly before 2 p.m. and is could reach 75 mph winds, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is set to hit Florida on late Thursday into Friday.
It then slides north and east along the southeastern coast of the country before heading remerging out into the Atlantic Ocean over by Virginia or North Carolina by Saturday morning.
Beyond that it looks to stall some 100 miles east of Atlantic City by Sunday into Monday. That will be close enough to give us some rain, wind and coastal flooding.
The entire East Coast, including the New York area, is expected to feel the effects of the hurricane as well.
The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook Thursday and warned people to expect severe weather through Wednesday of next week.
The hurricane puts beaches on Long Island and in the five boroughs at a "moderate risk" for rip currents, the weather service says. The combination of heavy rain and strong winds could cause major issues for the influx of beachgoers and vacationers for the Labor Day weekend.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore, which occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as groins, jetties and piers.
Beachgoers should talk to lifeguards and beach officials to learn about any surf hazards and heed their advice. Pay attention to flags and posted signs and swim in life guarded areas.
If you become caught in a rip current:
- Yell for help.
- Remain calm. Do not exhaust yourself and stay afloat while waiting for help.
- If you have to swim out of a rip current, swim parallel to the shore. Once you are away from the force of the rip current, begin to swim back toward the beach.
- Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current as you will tire quickly.
As the storm makes landfall Thursday night, the storm surge could reach 4-8 feet along the Florida Gulf Coastline. More importantly, widespread amounts of 5-10 inches will be expected along a large swath stretching from Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and perhaps Virginia.
As with any tropical systems, there is a risk of a tornado during any of the feeder bands.
As for us here, most of Saturday looks okay however clouds will begin to thicken as the day progresses. The surf and winds will pick up and beach erosion looks to be a big deal by Sunday. With the expectation of this storm to stall out, that will give a prolonged risk of coastal flooding for several high tide cycles.
Preparing for a storm
- Prepare a Go Bag that you can grab in case you need to leave your home in a hurry. For more information about what to pack in a Go Bag, visit http://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/ready/gather-supplies.page.
- Know your flood risk. To learn more about coastal flood risk in New York City, visit the FEMA Region II Coastal Analysis and Mapping website for flood hazard information.
- Consider getting flood insurance. Protection against loss due to floods is not covered under a homeowner's policy. Contact your property/casualty agent or broker about eligibility for flood insurance. For more information, visit the National Flood Insurance Program online at http://www.floodsmart.gov.
- Make an itemized list of personal property, including furnishings, clothing, and valuables.
- Fill out an Emergency Reference Card, which will contain important contacts for you and your family in the event of any emergency.
- Learn the safest route from your home or workplace to safe, high ground in case you have to evacuate. This should be part of your household disaster plan.
- If you live in a flood-susceptible area, keep materials, such as sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber, on hand to help protect your home.
Stay informed. Before and during an emergency, the City will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels including Notify NYC, the City’s free emergency notification system.
Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can receive phone calls, text messages, and/or emails alerts about traffic and transit disruptions and other emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit www.nyc.gov/notifynyc, or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.