20 Aug 2014
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Arthur to Pass 200 Miles off N.J. as Swimmers, Boaters Warned

Rip currents, heavy seas predicted despite a sunny weekend

Arthur to Pass 200 Miles off N.J. as Swimmers, Boaters Warned
Forecasters with the National Weather Service say Hurricane Arthur will not bring wind or rain to the Jersey Shore, but will whip up seas and create a major rip current threat along ocean beaches.

Arthur, which was packing 90 m.p.h. winds as it spun slowly off the South Carolina coast on Thursday, was forecast to rapidly pick up speed and jet off to the northeast towards Canada by Friday. When it passes by the Jersey Shore on Friday, the storm will be between 200 and 250 miles offshore, a briefing issued by the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly said.

"Showers and thunderstorms are expected to taper off on Friday as Arthur moves away from the area," the briefing said.

The storms, scattered across the region since Wednesday night, are part of a frontal system that has tapped into tropical moisture in the air. But New Jersey will avoid direct moisture from Arthur as it passes by.

"Generally rain-free conditions are expected Friday evening just in time for any fireworks displays," forecasters wrote in the briefing.

Fireworks displays will also be safe from what was thought at one point to be a threat from high winds. The briefing said that winds "are not expected to be major issues" with wind speeds around 15 to 25 m.p.h. near the coast expected and much lighter speeds inland, all calming by the end of the day Thursday.

Tidal flooding is also not expected to be an issue.

Rip Current Risk is High; Boaters Warned

The one threat the National Weather Service is calling "major" in the Jersey Shore area is that of rip currents. The Mount Holly office said that rips are likely to be present in time for July 4 and continue through the weekend, meaning that despite "beach day" weather that is predicted, venturing into the ocean may be unsafe.

A small craft advisory was also in effect for ocean waters off the Jersey Shore from 8 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday. Seas of 5 to 8 feet were expected with winds between 15 and 25 knots coming from the north, with gusts to 30 knots.

Mariners were being advised not to operate smaller crafts, usually defined as vessels less than 65 feet in length, in the conditions.

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