Beach Before Hurricane – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Leonard the Food Guy
Just a few days after Hurricane Ida left a devastating trail of destruction across multiple states, forecasters were keeping a close eye Sunday on another storm churning across the Atlantic. This one could be even more dangerous.
Hurricane Larry, now a Category 3 storm, could intensify into a Category 4 storm by Sunday. A Category 4 hurricane has sustained winds of 130 to 156 mph, just as Ida did when it made landfall in Louisiana. If Larry’s sustained winds surpass 150 mph, it could become the strongest storm in the Atlantic for 2021, according to Accuweather.
The storm was expected to whirl across the waters of the Atlantic ocean for several more days, but it could eventually head towards Bermuda around the middle of the week and move closer to North America. “At this point, it is most likely that Larry will miss the United States and stay a few hundred miles away from the Northeast coast,” Accuweather said.
However, much of the U.S.’s east coast could feel effects by midweek. Major swells caused by the storm are “likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the hurricane center said.
Larry was located about 830 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands Sunday afternoon, moving northwest at 13 mph. Its maximum sustained winds were 125 mph with even higher gusts according to the National Hurricane Center.
“Little change in strength is forecast during the next few days, although fluctuations in intensity will be possible. Larry is expected to remain a major hurricane through the middle of this week,” the center said.
The center stated that the storm is an extremely large hurricane, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 45 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 175 miles.
There was a chance for Larry to track far west to pass near or over Bermuda. “However, as it currently stands, it appears more likely than not that Larry will still end up far enough to the east to spare Bermuda the brunt of the storm,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Randy Adkins.
Larry became the fifth hurricane and third major hurricane last week in an already strong Atlantic hurricane season with 12 named storms. The season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, with its peak this Friday.
“We’re running well ahead of schedule, especially for named storms,” said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbac. “On average, through Aug. 31, there would usually be about six named storms, which includes both tropical storms and hurricanes,” he continued.
The United States is ahead in the number of named storms making landfall. So far we have had five, including Danny, Elsa, Fred, Henri, and Ida. Based on averages from the past, the typical number of landfalls throughout this period is two.
Leading hurricane forecasts from several reputable sites have agreed that 2021 will experience higher-than-normal activity.
Larry could run well into the second week of September and become the longest-lived storm system this season so far.
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