Hurricane Leslie to Send Days of Big Surf to Ocean City
Ocean City Beach Patrol lifeguards are limiting swimmers to shallow water. The storm track will remain over the Atlantic.
A distant tropical storm strengthened to become a hurricane on Wednesday, and already Ocean City is seeing rough surf from the system.
Hurricane Leslie was still almost 500 miles south of Bermuda early Wednesday afternoon, but her 75 mph winds are generating swells that are reaching the entire East Coast.
The National Weather Service issued a severe rip current advisory on Wednesday, and Ocean City Beach Patrol lifeguards at the 10 protected beaches still open for the season were limiting bathers to only shallow water.
National Hurricane Center forecasters say Leslie is "crawling" northward, and the waves are not expected to peak on the New Jersey coast until Saturday or Sunday. The storm is predicted to remain over the open water of the Atlantic Ocean and cross Ocean City's latitude sometime early on Monday.
The ocean water temperature of 78.3 degrees on Wednesday was inviting, but conditions are expected to grow more dangerous for swimmers in the next few days.
Local winds were strong out of the south on Wednesday, bringing choppy and less-than-ideal conditions for surfers.
The current hurricane tracks suggests Leslie will pass very close to Bermuda on Saturday night as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 90 to 100 mph.
There's a chance the storm could affect Canada and Newfoundland early next week as a weakening hurricane.
Another tropical storm was named on Wednesday. Michael has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and could become a hurricane later today or tonight.
Michael is even more distant than Leslie and is not expected to affect any land mass in the next five days.
On land, showers are likely for Wednesday evening with a possible thunderstorm. Some storms could produce heavy rainfall.
Thursday promises to be partly sunny with a small chance of showers after 2 p.m. Winds are expected to be light out of the southwest.