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Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 08/21/2009

Hurricane Bill to Generate Dangerous Surf

By Jason Samenow

Big waves & strong rip currents threaten nearby beaches

* Severe T-Storm Watch Until 9 PM: Full Forecast | NatCast *
* Where's Bill Now? Hurricane Tracking Center *

peakwaves.gif
Wave height projection (in feet) for 7 a.m. Sunday morning from the Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) model. Image courtesy U.S. Navy.

Just how big will the waves be along the East Coast this weekend due to the offshore influence of Hurricane Bill? Really big. The wave model shown above projects 9-12 foot waves extending northward from the near-shore waters of Maryland/Delaware beaches all the way up through New England late Saturday and into Sunday (waves of this magnitude may threaten the Carolina coastal waters earlier on Saturday). Off the coast of Cape Cod and Nantucket, Mass., waves may near 20 feet on Sunday. Further offshore, near the center of the storm, waves could approach 50 feet!!!

Keep reading for information on the high risk of rip currents from Bill...

Regarding rip currents, the National Weather Service cautioned the following in a Special Weather Statement for the Maryland beaches:

DANGEROUS LONG PERIOD SOUTHEAST SWELL GENERATED BY HURRICANE BILL WILL ARRIVE AT THE BEACHES ON FRIDAY...AND WILL CONTINUE TO BUILD AND PROPAGATE TOWARD OUR COAST THROUGH THE WEEKEND. IN ADDITION...THERE WILL BE HIGH ASTRONOMICAL TIDES ASSOCIATED WITH THE CURRENT NEW MOON CYCLE. THESE FACTORS WILL RESULT IN A HIGH RISK OF RIP CURRENTS THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

A HIGH RISK OF RIP CURRENTS MEANS WIND AND OR WAVE CONDITIONS SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF DANGEROUS RIP CURRENTS...ESPECIALLY IN THE VICINITY OF JETTIES...PIERS AND SANDBARS. RIP CURRENTS ARE LIFE-THREATENING TO ANYONE WHO ENTERS THE SURF. BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS WITH OUTGOING TIDES WHICH IMPROVE RIP CURRENT FORMATION. ALL BEACH GOERS SHOULD REMAIN AWARE OF INHERENT DANGERS WHEN ENTERING THE SURF INCLUDING SWIFT LONGSHORE CURRENTS...POUNDING SHORE BREAK AND SHALLOW SAND BARS.

RIP CURRENTS ARE STRONG...NARROW CHANNELS OF WATER THAT FLOW OUT TO SEA. IF YOU BECOME CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT...REMAIN CALM. TRY TO SWIM ON A COURSE THAT IS PARALLEL TO THE BEACH UNTIL YOU GET AWAY FROM THE RIP...THEN SWIM AT AN ANGLE IN TO SHORE. DO NOT TRY TO SWIM BACK TO SHORE DIRECTLY AGAINST THE RIP...SINCE IT CAN EXHAUST AND EVEN KILL THE STRONGEST SWIMMER.

Please exercise extreme caution if you're headed to any beach along the East Coast this weekend.

By Jason Samenow  | August 21, 2009; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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Comments

I for one am looking forward to something other than the typical 1-2 ft wave action seen around here....

Posted by: bobiv | August 21, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

All Atlantic facing beaches around NYC are closed to swimming as of this morning.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 21, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The assumption is that Bill doesn't make a left turn and head for the Outer Banks...which could turn OUR weekend into a real mess!!!

The lightning data for yesterday had little lightning in the eyewall and quite a bit in the outer eastward quadrants, meaning the storm is weakening or not intensifying.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | August 21, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

what does that mean for the Bay? i'm going sailing in Annapolis Sat afternoon, and I'm unsure as to how the winds would affect my trip...?

Posted by: rhingo | August 21, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

@rhingo

The Bay will not be significantly impacted by wave action resulting from Bill. On the other hand, you may well have to contend with showers and thunderstorms, unrelated to Bill. Not sure it will be the best sailing day.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | August 21, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@capitalweathergang

If the bay is not impacted by waves, would it see tide impact?

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | August 21, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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