Hermine Gets Complicated
Noon, Saturday, Sept. 3: As 75 percent of folks are rallying to leave LBI before Hermine arrives, the remainder are walkin’ about or nonchalantly waiting in line outside restaurants to leisurely dine.
As is always the case, double-barreled reports are being loosed, left and right, regarding storm hazards – many that I just don’t see. In fact, since yesterday, I’ve seen the Hermine-ish system showing strong sign of turning east over North Carolina and South Carolina, as I had 50/50 suspected.
Admittedly, in this scenario, this storm could lose its tropical characteristics and blow up at sea, much like a winter storm. And, admittedly, they’re highly unpredictable. There is even high pressure to our north, adding an essential winter storm character to the offshore storm set-up. As we saw with the likes of the Perfect Storm, tropical systems are more than happy to join forces with other weather systems.
Not to the liking of some stormaholics, I now see a small but significant drop in maximum wind potential for tomorrow. I’m dropping my prediction down from an original potential 55 mph to a maximum 45 to 48 mphs. That is actually huge in the scheme of wind-damage things. Staying below 50 mph is always a minor victory in a storm like this.
Not to worry if you’re a wave fan. I still forecast breaking, near-shore waves of 15 to possibly 20 feet. Remember, that’s actual breaking wave heights. And I use my Hawaiian waveriding experience to measure surf.
This system could move out more quickly, should it become less tropical in nature. It will still hang in through Monday, but that’s better than yesterday’s “through Wednesday” forecast.
The beach erosion will be something special – and the biggie for this storm. There are already some 6-foot cutaways, but I don’t see the big carving until the waves overwash the beach and reach the manmade dune line. There could be some epic drops created in places where the dunes are easily reached by erosive waves, i.e. north Surf City, north Brant Beach, Nebraska Avenue and far south Holgate proper (Wooden Jetty area).
As predicted, the rain in this storm will be almost oddly minimal. That will ease the street flooding on LBI – somewhat. If you’re one of those who love drive the new BMW through waist-deep/waste-deep Boulevard puddles, you’re still in luck. It will be a BMW boat-like ride during high tides on LBI. And I mean high tide on the Island itself, which arrives four to five hours later than the front beach.
On a health note, the initial street puddles will be dangerously dirty, as stagnant water oozes out onto the roadway. I strongly suggest resisting that human flooded-street urge to splash, swim or even paddle about in the standing water. Maybe, after a couple/few tidal exchanges, that initial foul water will dilute and you can take those floodwater selfies.