Hurricane Maria Kicking Up Surf, But Sparing Long Island

Governor Hochul 3
Surfers off of Monroe Blvd in Long Beach try their luck and skill from the strong waves created by approaching Hurricane Jose on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (Photo by Joe Abate)

Hurricane Maria is forecast to head out to sea Tuesday, sparing Long Island the kind of close call that the region went through last week when Hurricane Jose passed by, experts said.

Maria, a category one storm with 80 mph sustained winds about 300 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, prompted the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue a high surf advisory for ocean beaches in Suffolk County on Monday.

“The dangerous conditions may persist through the middle of the week,” Upton-based NWS forecasters said in a statement that warned the wave action may cause “localized beach erosion.”

Meteorologists predict the storm will stay far enough off the southern coast of LI that no tropical storm watches or warnings will be issued like those that happened with Jose, which also spared the island—although only after getting close enough that authorities were preparing for potentially damaging winds and rain.

While preparing for Jose last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York State emergency response resources would remain deployed on LI until it was clear whether or not Maria would impact the area.

Ocean waves between five and nine feet were expected off the South Shore. Wave height was slightly lower at points west.

The entire South Shore of LI, including Nassau County and New York City, were experiencing rip currents, NWS added. The agency reminded the public to only swim at beaches with lifeguards on duty and if they do get caught in a rip current, to swim parallel to shore until free.

The forecast for the rest of the second half of the week is expected to be more autumn-like with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Dense fog Monday night with a chance of showers Tuesday and Wednesday is all the rain on the radar for LI.