Forecasters Warn of US Coast Rip Currents as Humberto Strengthens to Category 1 Hurricane

Satellite imagery shows Hurricane Humberto gaining strength off the southeastern coast of the United States, September 16, 2019. NOAA

Beachgoers on the southeastern U.S. coast should be wary of potentially dangerous rip currents caused by Hurricane Humberto, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.

Late Sunday, Humberto strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane. By early Monday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. The storm was about 760 miles west of Bermuda and moving northeast at 5 mph.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Humberto will bring large swells to the northwestern Bahamas and southeastern U.S. coast for several days.

The National Weather Service issued advisories warning of high rip current risks through Monday evening at beaches from northeast Florida to North Carolina.

Rip currents are narrow channels of water that move away from shore at high speed, posing a drowning threat to swimmers.

Additional strengthening is forecast through Wednesday, when the eye of the storm is expected to be out in the open Atlantic.