NEW YORK — All eyes are on Hurricane Henri, set to make its mark on the area with severe and dangerous weather, but also making its mark in the history books.
The rare tropical weather is making its way up off the Atlantic coast of the U.S., destined for New York and New England — two regions that don’t often play host to tropical systems. The storm is expected to make landfall at or near hurricane status.
Right now, it’s looking like New York’s Long Island and southern New England — particularly Connecticut — will feel serious impacts. If it makes landfall in New York, that would be the first time the state’s sustained a direct hit during a hurricane season since 2012′s Superstorm Sandy — the effects of which are still plaguing New York. Either way, it’s expected to make landfall Sunday, but effects could be felt as soon as Saturday.
For Long Island, it’s the first storm to prompt this serious a response in 10 years: the last time the area was under a Hurricane Watch was in 2011 for Hurricane Irene. (The NWS has upgraded the area to a Hurricane Warning for Henri.)
What about Sandy? Well, according to a USA Today editorial, forecasters accurately warned of the storm’s track, but officials didn’t accurately portray its intensity because of its rare and technical classification as a “post-tropical cyclone,” meaning no hurricane watches or warnings were issued.
Henri, though, is expected to make landfall as a category 1 hurricane; it’d be the first hurricane to hit Long Island since Hurricane Gloria hit the island on Sept. 27, 1985 — nearly 36 years ago.
There are two ingredients needed for a storm to track this far up north: a tropical system itself and steering currents. Most tropical systems in the northern hemisphere run out or recur before they can make their way north, according to the National Weather Service.
This isn’t New York’s first rodeo with weather writ large. After all, a nor’easter is just a hurricane with a Long Island accent. So, the usual protocols apply: Get boats out of the water, gas up cars, stock the pantry and batten down the hatches. Be prepared for power outages, too.
Oh, yes. School is back in session in parts of the east coast, but there are still thousands of tourists enjoying the beaches of Cape Cod, the Hamptons and elsewhere.
Bob was New England’s predecessor to Henri, responsible for the deaths of 17 and $1.5 billion in damage in August 1991. But with Connecticut in Henri’s sights, there are still those memories of Gloria — that 1985 hurricane that made landfall on both Long Island and Connecticut, and caused eight deaths and nearly $1 billion in damage.