While the United States will escape a direct hit from Tropical Storm Bertha, increased surf and the threat of rip currents will still develop along the East Coast this week.
This week, Bertha will turn northeastward into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean and will stay away from the United States.
However, that does not mean that the beaches of the U.S. East Coast will escape impacts from the bypassing storm.
“Bertha will stay far away from a direct hit on the United States, but beachgoers along the East Coast should prepare for dangerous surf and rip currents early this week,” stated AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Andy Mussoline.
While Bertha’s winds will remain offshore, the winds will generate swells that will propagate outward. The swells will lead to the rough surf and the rip current danger along the Atlantic beaches from Florida to North Carolina on Tuesday.
The rough surf and rip current risk will begin to spread to the mid-Atlantic beaches later on Tuesday, before stretching from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to southeastern Massachusetts on Wednesday. This includes the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
“Beachgoers should pay close attention to local warnings and talk to their lifeguards about water conditions,” Mussoline continued.
If you are caught in a rip current, get out of the fast-flowing water by swimming parallel to the coast in order to avoid fighting the current and expending energy.
While hazards in the surf are present, showers and thunderstorms may impact coastal areas as moisture from Bertha interacts with a stalled storm system.
The non-tropical storm has already contributed to the disorganization of Bertha.
Bertha will slowly lose strength through the rest of this week after being classified as a Category 1 hurricane for a time on Monday.
Surf will subside along the East Coast later in the week as Bertha heads into the northern Atlantic and loses its tropical characteristics.
Bertha or its remnants is forecast to pass very close to southeastern Newfoundland on Thursday with wind, rain and rough seas.
Those on Bermuda may also notice an increase in showers and thunderstorms on Wednesday through Thursday. However, the center of Bertha with the strongest winds will pass to the west and north of the islands.
Low Hurricane Count for June, July Not Uncommon
The relatively quiet Atlantic tropical season so far in 2014 is not that uncommon. Although the season officially begins on June 1, the most active period does not begin until mid-August.
Stef Davis and Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno explain the ebb and flow of the hurricane season in the video below:
AccuWeather is forecasting a slightly below-average number of tropical storms and hurricanes this season in the Atlantic.
Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed content to this story.