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Northeastern U.S. Under Hurricane And Storm Surge Watches As Tropical Storm Henri Approaches New England

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at August 20, 2021

Topline

A series of hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge watches have been issued for the Northeastern U.S. as Tropical Storm Henri intensifies and tracks towards the coast, the National Hurricane Center said, where it will potentially become the first hurricane in 30 years to directly hit New England. 

Key Facts

Hurricane watches have been issued for parts of New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts, the NHC said, meaning “hurricane conditions” like heavy rainfall and strong winds are possible in the area.

Tropical storm watches—less extreme than a hurricane—have also been issued for parts of New York and Connecticut, the organization said.  

Storm surge watches, which foretell possibly “life-threatening” flooding from water moving inland from the coast, have been issued for portions of New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, which the NHC warned could be as high as 3 to 5 feet above ground level.  

Henri is expected to strengthen and become a hurricane by Saturday and move towards the Northeastern coast on Sunday and Monday, the NHC said.

Models are not yet clear on whether Henri will make landfall or not, the NHC said.    

What To Watch For

Henri is the eighth named Atlantic storm of the 2021 hurricane season. If it strengthens and makes landfall, it would become the second storm of the season to do so with hurricane strength. Hurricane Grace became the first storm of the season to make landfall with hurricane strength on Thursday, hitting the eastern portion of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Key Background

Parts of the Northeast are already recovering from the passing of Tropical Storm Fred, which unleashed torrents of rain causing mudslides and flooding in the region and is part of an expected uptick in storm activity. The 2021 hurricane season is expected to continue the trend of busier-than-usual years, with between 13 and 20 named storms forecast. There were 30 named storms in 2020, 11 of which made landfall in the U.S., the most active season on record.  A major U.N. report earlier this month cautioned that human-driven climate change is making severe weather events more likely and that these will continue to worsen unless immediate and drastic action is taken to reduce carbon emissions. 

Further Reading

20 Missing In N.C. After Flooding Rains From Fred, As Another Tropical Threat Looms For East Coast (Forbes)

Hurricane Season About To Take A Major Turn For The Worse, Government Forecasters Say (Forbes)

30 years after last hurricane, New England braces for Henri (AP)

Henri might hit the Northeast as a hurricane, but determining where is a major challenge. (NYT)

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