Hermine dangerous Labor Day weekend threat for East Coast

After slamming Florida, deadly Hurricane Hermine weakened to a tropical storm Friday but will still focus its fury on the East Coast through the Labor Day weekend.

As of midday Friday, more than 30 million people from Florida to New York were under tropical storm watches and warnings through the weekend. The National Weather Service said heavy rain, flash floods, strong winds and rip currents were expected as Hermine or its remnants move up the coast.

Even though meteorologists might officially classify the system as "post-tropical" over the weekend, Hermine is expected to remain "a dangerous cyclone through 5 days," according to the hurricane center.

One forecast from the hurricane center shows that every state on the East Coast, all the way from Florida to Maine, could see tropical-storm-force winds over the next few days.

Hermine is expected to produce storm total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches – with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches – over the southeastern U.S. and portions of the mid-Atlantic. This amount of rain will likely lead to flooding in some areas.

#Hermine rainfall totals this weekend, courtesy @NWSWPCpic.twitter.com/MVOHTRZFhH

— USA TODAY Weather (@usatodayweather) September 2, 2016

Several days of pounding surf and howling winds will cause beach erosion from the Mid-Atlantic to New England. Some forecast models show the storm sitting nearly stationary off the New Jersey coast for several days, potentially setting up a "devastating" surge for coastal areas, according to WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue.

"Gusts between 60 and 75 mph are possible from the central New Jersey coast to the southern tip of Delmarva," according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dave Dombek.

A loop westward Sunday night would be devastating for coastal surge. Amazing atmospheric dynamics/energy #Hermine pic.twitter.com/QC1MtBl9lb

— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) September 2, 2016

A storm surge watch is in effect from Virginia Beach to Long Island.

Areas where #Hermine storm surge are a concern this weekend, from@NHC_Surge pic.twitter.com/NdFL9EiVyw

— USA TODAY Weather (@usatodayweather) September 2, 2016

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Hawaii was bracing for its second hurricane in less than a week, as Hurricane Lester was threatening the Aloha State with high wind and heavy rain over the weekend.

A hurricane watch was posted for much of the state. As of early Friday, the 110-mph hurricane was still 480 miles from Hilo, Hawaii, but was moving to the west-northwest at 14 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Hermine was the first hurricane to strike Florida in 11 years, leaving widespread damage in its wake. It was also the first hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico since Ingrid in 2013.

The National Hurricane Center said Hermine made landfall at 1:30 a.m. as a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds along the Florida coast, just east of St. Marks.

Hermine was the 4th hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season.


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