Hurricane Florence is on track to miss Long Island but the area has already seen its effects in the form of rough seas and dangerous rip currents, forecasters said Monday.
The National Hurricane Center said parts of the East Coast will see large swells, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents this week. Swells off the Island could build up to 10 feet on Thursday as Florence lands on the Carolinas and the projected cone of tropical storm winds brushes the southwest tip of New York City, meteorologists said.
"For Long Island, all we're really looking for is beach-related impacts," said meteorologist Faye Morrone of the National Weather Service's Upton office. "The biggest impacts will be high surf and dangerous rip currents as we get toward the end of the week into the weekend. A lot of beaches are unguarded now, so for anyone going into the water, it's certainly something to be aware of. We're after Labor Day so no lifeguards in a lot of places."
All along the East Coast, Upton and other National Weather Service offices have been releasing four weather balloons daily, twice the usual number. They're gathering wind, humidity, temperature and other data before bursting more than 100,000 feet high, well above the paths of commercial airliners, Morrone said.
Authorities warn that Florence's track could change, so people should look for updates. But most of the weather models point to a west-northwest path that will take it over the Carolinas with Florence slowing down as it approaches land, leading to an extended dump of rain, meteorologists said.
Tuesday will start off with a chance of showers and patchy fog, followed by a 30 percent chance of heavy rain for the rest of the day and night, the service said. Wednesday sees a chance of thunderstorms, and Thursday will be mostly cloudy, meteorologists said. The high will hover around 80 on Tuesday and Wednesday and dip a little on Thursday, they said.