By Steven Strouss
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Beachgoers along the US East Coast will have to contend with dangerous rip currents this week from Florida to Maine.
As the peak of Hurricane season approaches, there are several tropical systems spinning in the Atlantic (1 Hurricane and 2 Tropical Depressions). Hurricane Gaston is a strong category 2 storm with sustained winds of 105 mph.
Although this is a powerful hurricane, it is located over 1,000 miles away from Philadelphia and will remain out at sea.
Meanwhile, Tropical Depression #8 is strengthening off of North Carolina and will bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the Outer Banks.
Rainfall amounts from this system will generally be 1-3″ but isolated amounts of 5″ are possible across eastern portions of the state. Storm warnings have been issued from Cape Lookout to Oregon Inlet and the coast guard is urging mariners to use caution.
Tropical Depression #9 is spinning in the Gulf of Mexico about 340 miles west of Key West, Florida. This storm is dumping torrential rains over western Cuba and southern Florida. Rainfall amounts from this system could be as high as 12″ and this may lead to flash flooding.
Both depressions have current sustained wind speeds of 35 mph and they are both in favorable environments for development. The first of these depressions to strengthen into a Tropical Storm will get the name Hermine (pronounced Her-Meen, in case you’re not familiar). This can happen as early as this afternoon or tonight. The second storm to get name will be called Ian (pronounced EE-an).
In addition, there is a tropical wave located over the far eastern Atlantic between the west coast of Africa and the Cabo Verde Islands. This system has a 40% chance of development through the next 5 days so we will also be monitoring that as it moves west through the open waters.
In the Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Madeline and Hurricane Lester are being tracked because they are threatening the island state of Hawaii. If your travels take you there, be sure to stay tuned to the latest weather forecast.
We will continue to update you on these developing storms, but as of now, be extra cautious of rip currents. Check your local beach forecast before you leave and talk with lifeguards located at the beach. Do not go swimming on a beach without a lifeguard.