Keep an eye on this one. The National Hurricane Center says the expected track of Tropical Storm Henri has shifted, meaning it’s more likely it will hit the Northeastern states at the end of the week.
“The forecast track of Henri has shifted toward the northeast coast of the U.S. this weekend and early next week, increasing the risk of direct storm surge, wind, and rain impacts in portions of the northeastern U.S. and Atlantic Canada during that time,” the forecasters said Wednesday , noting that Henri was on the verge of reaching hurricane strength. “Interests in these areas should closely follow the progress of Henri and check for updates to the forecast.”
The forecasters also warned, “Swells from Henri will begin to reach much of the east coast of the U.S. and Atlantic Canada by the end of the week and continue through the weekend. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.”
“It’s something we’re watching really closely,” Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Norton, said.
While it’s too early to tell exactly where Henri will go, people who live and work in Eastern Massachusetts and the Cape and Islands “really need to pay attention to the latest forecast over the next few days,” he said.
The Norton forecasters said in a Web posting that they had “a fair degree of confidence that we’ll see at least some impacts to the coastal areas with hazards including high surf, riptides, and potentially coastal flooding. The severity of any coastal flooding remains uncertain at this time. As far as tropical storm force winds go, the highest chances would be for the outer Cape and Islands. The potential for any flooding rainfall will also be highly dependent on the actual storm track.”
The forecasters noted that one model “takes the storm directly into Southern New England with landfall near Narragansett Bay.”
By 11 p.m. Wednesday, the storm was approximately 280 miles southwest of Bermuda, moving west at 9 miles per hour. The hurricane center said the storm was expected to turn to the north on Friday. The storm is also expected to strengthen into a hurricane on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds remained for Henri near 70 miles per hour, with gusts at higher speeds, according to the hurricane center, which wrote that the storm was maintaining intensity.
Meanwhile, the remnants of post-tropical cyclone Fred will pass by to our northwest late Wednesday night into Thursday. Be prepared for muggy weather and the possibility of downpours. Some parts of Massachusetts could see 1 to 2 inches of rainfall, the weather service said.
Here are the 5 PM AST, August 18th Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Henri, which is almost a hurricane. Interest in the Northeastern United States should closely monitor the progress of this system.— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 18, 2021
Latest Info: https://t.co/tjXFlIdFDP pic.twitter.com/xH5lnENDtC
Globe Correspondent Breanne Kovatch contributed to this report.