The entire East Coast could be affected by strong rip currents this weekend as Hurricane Earl churns through the Atlantic, forecasters from the National Weather Service said.
A tropical storm warning for Bermuda has been lifted but swells from the large storm were affecting the island and US shores Friday.
“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions through the weekend,” the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 p.m. advisory on the storm.
Hurricanes have the potential to impact the East Coast “even when they remain far enough away that you don’t even notice they exist,” the weather service has warned.
The weather service said that while peak winds in Earl might be lower in speed, the storm’s wind field will likely expand. That “will cause it to continue to produce large waves and swells across a large portion of the western Atlantic.”
The emergency management office in the North Carolina town of Surf City, about 25 miles northeast of Wilmington, told beachgoers to watch out for rip currents and large breakers.
“If you visit the beach, please pay attention to the flags and follow the guidance of our ocean rescue personnel,” officials said in a tweet.
The National Weather Service office in Boston told people to stay at a safe distance when looking at the surf and reminded them, that with the season over, many beaches no longer have lifeguards.
Earl was moving northeast at about 26 mph Friday. It had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, but was no longer a threat to become a major hurricane (winds of at least 111 mph).
Forecasters said the storm would be hurricane-strength on Saturday but would begin to weaken steadily through early Monday as it moves through the Atlantic and passes east of the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.