LONG ISLAND – Forecasters issued a hurricane watch Friday morning for Tropical Storm Henri ahead of its projected track toward the southern New England coast. By Friday afternoon, it had been escalated to a hurricane warning.
Henri was expected to intensify into a hurricane by Saturday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in advisory. Impacts could be felt in New England states by Sunday.
The system was centered in the Atlantic Ocean about 370 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and about 780 miles south-southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts. It had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph.
The hurricane watch initially stretched across the South Shore of Long Island from Fire Island Inlet to Montauk, and the North Shore from Port Jefferson Harbor to Montauk. It also covered the coast from New Haven, Connecticut, to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts; and Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island. Parts were adjusted later.
National Weather Service New York tweeted that this is the first hurricane watch issued for the area in nearly a decade.
The main threats were expected to be storm surge, wind and rain, forecasters said. Storm surge between 3 and 5 feet was possible from Watch Hill, Rhode Island, to Sagamore Beach.
Rainfall between 2 to 5 inches (5 to 12 centimeters) was expected Sunday through Monday over the region.
Henri was heading west early Friday but forecasters expect it to make a turn toward the north and approach the New England coast.