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Guess we won't see Jim Cantore again this weekend

Thursday 27 August 2009 at 4:27 pm. I’ve been listening to The Weather Channel but haven’t heard yet where the meteorologists are being dispatched to anticipate the arrival of Tropical Storm Danny, which is forecast to become a hurricane by Saturday.

The good news for Hatteras and Ocracoke is that it looks as if Cantore and crew will not be hanging out here.

Last month, Cantore spent a couple days on Hatteras to video a Weather Channel feature on “Why I Love Summer.”

Although some folks were understandably panicked to see the Weather Stud on Hatteras during hurricane season, his work here was all fluffy stuff about kiteboarding and shelling and the like – and he attracted big crowds when he was being videotaped on the beach. Anyway, Jim Cantore is not someone you want to see on your island when a tropical system is headed your way.

My guess is that Cantore and crew may head to New England, where Danny could make a closer approach.  We know they will be somewhere to tell us about the storm. That’s for sure.

Early yesterday, it looked as if Danny would pass very close to the Outer Banks as perhaps a minimal hurricane.  But as the day progressed, the “cone” delineating the storm’s path moved more to the east.

By this afternoon, the forecast was that Danny would pass 100 to 150 miles east of Hatteras in the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 29.

That’s closer than Hurricane Bill last weekend, which was more than 400 miles off the coast and kicked up the surf pretty well.  Danny will probably be closer, but is not nearly as strong as Bill, which at one point was a Category 3 storm.

The effects on the islands are expected to be minimal.  Today, the National Weather Service predicted that the seas may get as high as 9 feet. There might be a few wind gusts or some showers, but no heavy rain is predicted.

Dare and Hyde counties have both issued advisories for islanders and visitors to keep abreast of the latest weather developments, but neither county anticipated any evacuations.

However, you should stay tuned to NOAA weather radio, The Weather Channel, or local TV or radio stations.  A slight shift to the west by Danny could bring us worsening conditions Friday night.

We all remember Alex in August, 2004, which, as we went to bed one night, was predicted to pass by the islands as a tropical storm.  We woke up the next morning to hear that Alex was a Category 2 hurricane.

Now that was a surprise – and a nasty one at that.  There had been no evacuations and even locals weren’t sweating the storm.  So we were all surprised to see two to four feet of tidal storm surge from the Pamlico Sound as Alex passed.

The lesson is to stay informed until the storm passes the Outer Banks.

And whatever you do this weekend, be careful in the ocean.

The passage of the storm will surely bring us rip currents.

Last weekend, Hatteras Island Rescue Squad volunteers pulled a number of swimmers out of the ocean on southern Hatteras Island.

It was much too rough for swimming, but there were plenty of people trying it anyway.

Stay safe.  Build sand castles on the beach.

And for the rip current forecast, go to http://www.erh.noaa.gov/mhx/RipHazard.html

We will miss you Cantore and crew, but who knows what the rest of the tropical season will bring?

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