Hermine appears to be slowing as it approaches Delaware

Delaware State News

DOVER – The National Weather Service is predicting Hermine will linger off the Delaware coast Sunday into Monday, offering a Labor Day weekend of beach erosion, heavy surf and flooding.

The National Weather Service said, as of 8 a.m., Tropical Storm Hermine was moving east-northeast across the Outer Banks of North Carolina but slowing down.

“The main forecast challenge today is the extent of the rain associated with Hermine,” the forecaster said in a 10 a.m. bulletin.

Winds are whipping the coast today with sustained winds in the 30-plus mph range. The highest gust recorded at the Indian River Inlet this morning was 38 mph, according to the Delaware Environmental Observation System.

Early indications are light rain spreading over the southern third of Delaware this morning, the forecasters said.

“This will result in a prolonged onshore component to the wind (northeast), which in turn will prolong tidal flooding issues along the coast and back bays which won’t be able to drain,” the National Weather said. “All-in-all, this storm looks like it could wind up being a coastal event with all the ingredients of a nasty nor`easter, including heavy rain…coastal flooding (ocean front and back bays), strong winds, rough surf, high seas, and beach erosion.”

The forecasters said coastal flooding is likely to occur starting with the Saturday night tidal cycle. Moderate to major tidal oceanfront flooding is then expected by the Sunday

night high tidal cycle and extend into Monday`s high tidal cycle or even longer if Hermine lingers offshore.

There is particular concern for tidal flooding in the back bays due to the prolonged nature of the event with Hermine stalling off the Delmarva and New Jersey coasts for several days.

“In these back bays, the water will fail to drain and thus the tidal flooding threat increases with each successive high tide,” the forecasters said. “There is also a potential for tidal flooding to develop further up the Delaware Bay and into the Delaware River later in the weekend and early next week.

“It is important to note that seemingly minor shifts in the storm track could cause considerable differences in the extent of coastal flooding. It is appearing more likely that moderate to major coastal oceanfront flooding will occur, particularly the further south you go on the coast.”

Along Delaware’s beaches before 10 a.m., waves were pushing water over the breaks of the beach sand. In Rehoboth Beach, crews were out removing sheds from the beach. In Bethany Beach, lifeguards were out early walking the beach and warning beach goers of surf dangers.

Today’s forecast in the Dover area calls for a chance of showers, mainly after 5 p.m., with northeast winds 21-23 mph.

Tonight, there is a chance of showers before 9 p.m. and the rain after 9 p.m. Forecasters say precipitation chance is 50 percent.

Total rainfall may amount to quarter inch or less tonight.

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