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Atlantic storm to trigger rough surf along eastern US beaches through Monday

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An offshore storm will continue to cause hazardous beach conditions along the Eastern Seaboard through early week.

The storm has meandered off the southeastern coast of the United States this weekend, stirring up rough seas and prompting numerous red flag beach warnings in the process.

Officials in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Duck, North Carolina, warned beachgoers to heed all lifeguard warnings and avoid going in the water on Saturday.

These areas will continue to have a higher risk for rip currents on Sunday.

The storm is forecast to shift northward early this week, along with the unfavorable beach conditions.

"The storm is projected to track north-northeast, parallel to the mid-Atlantic and New England coast on Monday," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

An advancing cold front will prevent the storm and its associated moisture from tracking into the Northeast. Showers and thunderstorms along the cold front, however, will dampen the Northeastern states beginning on Monday night.

Seas will become more treacherous along the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts on Monday, even though the storm is forecast to pass hundreds of miles to the east.

"The storm should strengthen enough to create winds of 40-50 mph with gusts over 60 mph through Monday night," Kottlowski said. Such winds would be mostly east and northeast of the storm's center and offshore.

"These winds will generate very large waves leading to higher-than-normal surf along the North Carolina coast northward along the New England coast by Monday," he added.

Boaters and bathers from Maryland to Maine should remain alert for building seas and more frequent rip currents early this week.

Those who get caught in a rip current should swim parallel to the shoreline until they have safely escaped the current's pull.

There is a remote chance this system could acquire enough tropical characteristics to be classified as a subtropical storm.

Another area in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico is being monitored for tropical development into early this week.

Should either the Gulf of Mexico and/or the Atlantic Ocean system reach subtropical or tropical storm status, the next names on the list for the Atlantic basin in 2016 are Danielle and Earl.

Content contributed by AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.