Hurricane Gert churns up dangerous swells on US east coast

Hurricane Gert churns up dangerous swells on US east coast

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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MIAMI, United States (AFP) — Hurricane Gert is miles off the US east coast and heading into the open Atlantic, but still dangerous enough to generate life threatening coastal conditions, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday.

Gert, which become the second hurricane of the Atlantic season late Monday, was located at 1500 GMT some 420 miles (675 kilometres) west of Bermuda.

The Category One storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale was moving towards the northeast into the Atlantic at about 10 miles (17 kilometres) per hour, with top sustained winds of 75 miles (120 kilometres) per hour.

"Swells generated by Gert will spread northward along the east coast of the United States from North Carolina northward to Long Island during the next couple of days," the Miami-based NHC said.

"These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip conditions."

The dangerous swells are also expected to affect Bermuda, the NHC said.

Forecasters say that Gert will gain strength and increase its forward speed in the next day.

The Atlantic Ocean is facing a higher likelihood of an "extremely active" hurricane season, US forecasters have warned.

Between 14 and 19 big storms — ranging from tropical storms to powerful hurricanes — are expected for the Atlantic, up from 11 to 17 predicted in the May outlook.

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