Dangerous surf persists along US East Coast as Chris churns and Beryl may follow
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 12, 2018, 8:48:52 PM EDT
While the weather at the Atlantic coast beaches will be mainly free of rain into this weekend, surf and coastal waters will pose hazards due to Chris initially and perhaps Beryl later.
Chris is accelerating northeastward and away from the United States.
"We expect Chris to track close to or right over the Avalon Peninsula of southeastern Newfoundland," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
Chris will spread some rain across Iceland and warmth across Ireland and the United Kingdom this weekend.
Chris, an unusually strong storm for mid-July, to stir seas and coastal waters
On average, the second hurricane of the Atlantic season does not occur until later in the summer, or Aug. 28, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Seas 10 feet or greater may pose hazards to small craft, shipping and cruise interests over the northwestern Atlantic into this weekend.
Storms and seas of this intensity are much less common during the middle of July as opposed to the peak of hurricane season in the autumn or during winter storms.
Because of the fast forward motion of Chris, coastal impacts in the United States will generally be of short duration but pose some risks.
Winds that topped 100 mph created large swells over the ocean in the vicinity of the storm's center earlier this week. The swells generated then continue to propagate outward.
While the swells are diminishing with the storm weakening and moving away, it will still take some time for the bathtub effect to settle down.
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As AccuWeather predicted, dangerous swells will continue, with occasional large waves and strong rip currents in the surf zone along the coast.
A 62-year-old swimmer died in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, after being swept away from shore by a current on Saturday, July 7. This was the fifth swimmer fatality along the Outer Banks this summer. Three of the four other fatalities were attributed to rip currents.
About 20 rip current-related rescues have been reported on Wednesday in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, according to Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue.
In Ocean City, Maryland, lifeguards have reported at least 220 rescues on Monday and Tuesday combined, according to WJLA.
Beryl may raise seas and surf once again
In absence of another tropical storm or hurricane, seas would most likely return to normal and relatively safe conditions at the end of this week and remain there this weekend.
However, the state of sea and surf will be dependent on whether or not Beryl regenerates north of the Bahamas and how close to the United States coast that storm then tracks.
If Beryl fails to become a significant storm again, seas will likely return to their normal state for the middle of July, except for some local exceptions due to northeasterly breezes this weekend.
"Beryl will move into a region that may allow redevelopment west of Bermuda during Friday and Saturday," Kottlowski said.
Should Beryl become a strong tropical storm or hurricane once again and travel within a few hundred miles of the U.S., seas and surf may quickly build from south to north this weekend.
Beachgoers are urged to follow all advisories and warnings from lifeguards. It's recommended to swim on beaches only when and where lifeguards are on duty.
"Beryl is not expected to track close enough to the U.S. coast to bring rain and wind of significance," Kottlowski said. "However, it could pass close enough to Bermuda to bring periods of rain, gusty winds and rough surf this weekend."
Beryl may approach part of Atlantic Canada by early next week.
Despite the earlier than average barrage from the tropics of late, AccuWeather is still expecting much lower numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes, when compared to last year.
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