Tropical Storm Hermine will meander off the Mid-Atlantic coast, causing flooding, high winds and massive beach erosion.
Trouble From Hermine
Hermine remains a strong and dangerous system. As of 8am this morning, Hermine was moving back out over the waters of the Atlantic after crossing the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Hermine is expected to turn towards the north and stall out off the Mid-Atlantic coast. While meandering, Hermine may loop back to the west near the New Jersey coast while remaining a powerful storm.
A number of serious problems will result for the coastal Mid-Atlantic. Severe beach erosion, dangerous storm surge and high winds will impact areas from coastal Maryland to Long Island.
Some areas could see very destructive flooding and beach erosion from the storm surge and days of high surf battering the coast.
Most of the rain from Hermine should stay out over the ocean, but some coastal areas could see as much as 2-4 inches of rain.
Lessons From Sandy
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy developed in the Caribbean Sea, moved north along the Gulf Stream, then took a hard turn to the west and slammed into the Mid Atlantic. Extreme flooding and damage occurred as a result.
By the time Sandy reached the Mid-Atlantic, it was no longer technically a tropical system, as it had undergone a transformation and was a hybrid tropical-non tropical storm. As a result, Tropical Storm and Hurricane warnings were not issued. This gave a false sense of security to the region with disastrous results.
Like Sandy, Hermine will undergo a transformation over the next 24 to 48 hours and will no longer be a purely tropical system. This technicality will not reduce the impact of Hermine, which is expected to become a stronger storm off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic.
Thankfully, the lessons learned from the debacle of Sandy are being applied. Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings exist from Long Island and coastal Connecticut through the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The National Hurricane Center has said it will continue to issue its full suite of products regarding Hermine as long as it remains a threat, regardless of its tropical characteristics.
For those wondering, the difference between a tropical system and one that has lost its tropical characteristics is all about the structure of the storm and its mechanisms for remaining powerful.
Impacts in the Finger Lakes and CNY
Hermine will have few impacts on the Finger Lakes and Central New York.
As Hermine loops back towards the Mid-Atlantic coast on Sunday, the edge of the cloud shield should push west over our region. Sunday, as a result, will likely have an opaque, milky cloud cover that should allow a little bit of filtered sun to shine through. This should move back out early on Monday as the storm drifts away from the coast and dry air enters back in over our region.
No precipitation is expected to come anywhere near the Finger Lakes or Central New York from Hermine.
The wind Sunday night into Monday could be a bit gusty on the southeastern fringes of our region. Wind gusts of 20-30 mph may reach the I-88 corridor from Binghamton northeast. Top gusts of 10-20 mph are possible from Elmira to Ithaca and Cortland. Further north and west, no significant increase in the wind is expected.
High pressure should keep the area sunny and dry into the middle of next week.
A front will cross the region on Thursday. This front will be what finally kicks Hermine out to sea, where it will merge with the front and eventually dissipate.