Rough weekend waters ahead for New Englanders

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Tropical Storm Leslie is almost 1,000 miles from New England, but its ripple effect will spread across the Atlantic toward many coastal communities there beginning Friday evening. So it won’t be the best weekend to be on the water for work or play.

The National Weather Service has announced High Surf Advisories for the coastlines of New Hampshire and Maine for Saturday. A High Surf Advisory means that swells will produce dangerous rip currents and localized beach erosion in the advisory area. The latest forecast calls for surf heights of five to seven feet. Large, crashing waves will make it risky for swimmers and boaters.

The Lobster Co. in Portland, Maine tells FreightWaves there’s no issue for the supply of lobsters as they have about two days inventory. However, if the seas were to remain rough for four to five days they would have a problem and truckloads of seafood would dwindle.

The likelihood of very choppy waters has also prompted Small Craft Advisories with northeast winds of 10-20 knots (11-23 mph) whipping up, gusting to 25 knots, along with 4-9 foot seas. Some boats could get tossed around or capsize. Inexperienced mariners, especially ones who operate small vessels, should avoid navigating in these conditions.

The National Hurricane Center expects Leslie to drift eastward into the mid-Atlantic later in the weekend, so conditions should gradually improve along the New England coast throughout the day on Sunday.

Large swells could also affect Bermuda this weekend with Small Craft Warnings in place, and even the Bahamas and the Greater and Lesser Antilles could see some higher waves. As of late Friday afternoon (Eastern time) Leslie was centered 465 miles northeast of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

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Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist

In his 17 years of weather forecasting experience, Nick worked on air at WBBJ-TV and WRCB-TV, including time spent doing weather analysis and field reporting. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from Georgia Institute of Technology. Nick is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” for eight consecutive years. Nick earned his National Weather Association Broadcasting Seal in 2005.