Where Will Tropical Storm Henri Land? It's Tough To Tell.

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U.S.|Determining wherever Henri volition marque landfall is simply a sizeable challenge.


Credit...National Weather Service
  • Aug. 20, 2021, 5:26 a.m. ET

There is simply a bully accidental that Tropical Storm Henri volition marque landfall arsenic a hurricane successful Massachusetts, Rhode Island oregon Connecticut successful the coming days, which would marque it the archetypal hurricane landfall successful New England since Hurricane Bob successful 1991.

Landfall is expected connected Sunday oregon Monday, but the forecast has been highly uncertain.

Over the past time oregon so, Henri has been kept from intensifying by important vertical shear successful the Atlantic Ocean — antithetic winds astatine antithetic altitudes are keeping it from lasting upright. But the nonstop grade of this suppressing effect has varied betwixt models, affecting the forecast.

Models that task Henri to fortify much rapidly person pushed it person to the Atlantic Coast successful the adjacent term, predicting a stronger hurricane that makes landfall further west, perchance adjacent successful New Jersey oregon New York City. Models that expect Henri to stay weaker task it to marque landfall successful New England, oregon adjacent stay offshore until reaching Canada.

A weaker, much tilted tempest would beryllium mostly steered by the large-scale winds successful the little atmosphere, which person been blowing from southbound to north. A stronger, much vertically stacked tempest would consciousness the precocious atmospheric winds to a greater degree, and those person been blowing from eastbound to west.

Before Henri makes landfall, wherever that is, relaxing of the shear volition astir apt let the tempest to fortify into a hurricane implicit the lukewarm subtropical Atlantic waters that person been made a spot warmer by clime change. The National Hurricane Center’s strength forecast ne'er projects the tempest to turn beyond a Category 1 hurricane.

As caller craft reconnaissance flights person pinned down Henri’s strength and structure, the models person begun to hold a spot more, making landfall successful either New England oregon Long Island look astir likely. But immoderate uncertainty remains arsenic Henri stalls and drifts successful anemic steering winds.

Nonetheless, the National Weather Service successful Boston said connected Friday the eastbound Massachusetts coast, including Cape Cod Bay, had the highest hazard for surge flooding and warned that damaging winds were possible, particularly on and eastbound of Henri’s track. Up to six inches of rainfall with isolated amounts adjacent 8 inches on and westbound of Henri’s way were besides predicted.

A near crook — vaguely Sandy-like, but little melodramatic — is possible, with a landfall constituent that would astir apt inactive beryllium connected Long Island. Landfall successful New Jersey oregon New York City present appears unlikely, but it is not wholly retired of the question. Everyone adjacent the seashore from New Jersey to Maine should beryllium keeping a adjacent oculus connected the forecast.

Derrick Bryson Taylor contributed reporting.

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