Hurricane Cristobal to Raise Eastern US Surf, Cruise Near Bermuda

While Hurricane Cristobal will track east of the United States this week, it will spread rough surf along much of the Atlantic coast and will have some direct impact on Bermuda.

Hurricane hunter aircraft found 75-mph winds in thunderstorms just southeast of the center of Cristobal Monday evening. Cristobal became the Atlantic Basin's third hurricane of the season, despite a very lopsided appearance on satellite photos.

According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, "We expect Cristobal to become even better organized and possibly strengthen at midweek."

Swells generated by the distant storm will reach the coast in the form of significant breakers.

Rough surf and the likelihood of frequent and strong rip currents will exist from Florida to North Carolina and southeastern Virginia through Wednesday.

From Maryland and Delaware to New Jersey, New York and New England, the risk will peak Wednesday to Thursday. Rough surf may continue to be a problem into Friday from Long Island to Nova Scotia.

Only swim in waters under the watchful eye of lifeguards.

Cristobal will bring large waves well offshore averaging 12 to 25 feet a couple of hundred miles at sea.

Bermuda to Have Encounter with Cristobal

Bermuda, located well off the Carolina coast in the Atlantic and a popular tourist destination, will have the most significant effects from Cristobal with the center of the storm passing perhaps a couple of hundred miles to the west and north.

The islands of Bermuda have been experiencing rainfall nearly every day of this month and have received more than one and a half times their normal rain for August.

While tropical systems such as Cristobal often alleviate drought conditions on small islands incapable of generating enough heat for thunderstorms, the rainfall is generally unwanted this time. Frequent rainfall is a negative for tourism.

"Enough rain can fall from Cristobal to cause minor flooding on Bermuda," Kottlowski said.

"We expect tropical storm conditions on the islands later Wednesday into Thursday."

There is the potential for coastal erosion and power outages as the storm makes its closest approach to the islands. However, damage is likely to be minimal, since a direct hit is not forecast and the nature of well-built structures on the islands.

Due to the expected rough seas and potential for strong winds, small craft in Bermuda are advised to remain in port Wednesday and Thursday.

Other Systems to Watch

Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic, there are several systems being monitored.

One is a very disorganized area of showers and thunderstorms along the northwest coast of the Gulf of Mexico. This system will be pushed onshore in Texas by later Wednesday or Thursday.

A second system is a disturbance crossing the southern Atlantic.

There is a possibility of slow development with this second feature late this week and weekend as it moves along the northern islands of the Caribbean.

"Regardless of development, this feature will bring gusty winds and showers to the Leeward Islands on Friday and to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Saturday."

"It is possible portions of Florida have some impact from the system Tuesday or Wednesday of next week."

A third disturbance was moving off the coast of Africa. This system may take a track farther north as it moves across the Atlantic Ocean.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Marie continued to weaken well off the coast of Mexico and California. However, since this was once a Category 5 hurricane and generated huge swells, these will reach the coast of southern California and Baja California, Mexico, in the from of large breakers and dangerous rip currents through much of this week.