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Eweather: Hurricane Henri potential impact on our area

By eweather. Shared by permission.

(August 20, 2021) — Hurricane to impact the area this weekend – Final preps should be completed by tomorrow. Latest update on #Henri
Henri is currently a 70 MPH tropical storm that is very close to becoming a hurricane. The storm has made the turn northward. Conditions are quite favorable for development overnight into tomorrow as the storm traverses the very warm Gulf Stream. Current thinking it that Henri is aiming to come ashore somewhere near the Hamptons on Long Island….although guidance is still quite spread between NYC and Cape Cod….so changes are still possible. Basically the storm comes north and then hooks left before it eventually hooks back right inland. When the left turn occurs, determines how far west the storm gets. I believe Henri will strengthen into at least a category 2 hurricane before weakening on approach…I just don’t see anything to inhibit the strengthening. The storm will likely make landfall as a category 1 hurricane.
Timing: After midnight tomorrow night condition begin to go downhill….but things won’t really start cranking up into early in the morning, say 5-6am. Best idea currently on landfall is around noon Sunday give or take…and it rips right through the afternoon. It’s not until Sunday night when things will start settling down…although inland flooding rains will continue right into Monday.
Impacts:
Storm Surge: Surge will be significant…..2-4’ western areas, 3-5’ eastern areas. Winds rotate around the hurricane counter clockwise…so eastern areas do not benefit from a storm tracking over Long Island….SE and E winds will pile the water up….that water will be forced into Long Island Sound with nowhere to go. So widespread coastal flooding is expected even far from where the center makes landfall…like in Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay.
Wind: Gusts 60-80 MPH near where the center comes ashore; 50-70 MPH on a wider radius near the center; 40-60 MPH inland. Sustained winds will be ripping 30-50 MPH across a fairly wide area. Widespread tree damage and power outages near the center for the storm and along the track inland…On a wider radius from the storm, roughly north of I-84, more scattered tree damage and outages likely. Check out the GFS max wind gust map below that is based on that model’s track over the Hamptons and up through central CT (a very plausible track by the way). If that track shifts left or right….so does that wind swath. Plan to be out of power for an extended period of time and be happy if you aren’t.
Rainfall: Extremely heavy rain will fall along and to the west of where the storm tracks. We are talking about 3-6”, maybe even 4-8” or more of rain. You saw what tropical downpours from Fred did to Hartford the other day. I expect significant and widespread inland flash flooding. I am not even sure models have a handle on the total amount of rain yet. You can see the GFS idea below.
There is also a tornado threat east of the center in feeder bands that rotate around the storm.
Saturday is a good day for final preps. Sun and clouds, warm and humid, slight chance for a shower. Rollers will be building but seas will not be too bad for boat moving.
This forecast still will tweak – My suggestion is to prepare and take this one seriously – if the storm misses where you are, be happy….it is better to be safe than sorry. These storms are tough to predict and often have surprises. Those who are caught near the center will likely be surprised with what they deal with – well hopefully not too surprised if they follow eweather!
I believe this one has the potential to overachieve, not underachieve.
This is a high impact storm and Henri’s name will likely be retired and talked about in the same company of some of the most notable tropical systems to ever hit the northeast. It’s been 30 years since we’ve dealt with a hurricane here, so please take it seriously.
Check out the graphics that will provide a visual to go along with this narrative.
Follow eweather for the latest updates.
Graphics courtesy of eweather.

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