The storm system which brought snow to parts of the Midwest and Eastern U.S., as well as coastal flooding to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S. coast, is now offshore. This system is expected to drift slowly over the northwestern Atlantic over the next few days. Large waves generated by this powerful storm will spread south and impact the Florida east coast beginning late tonight and gradually increasing through Sunday.
Forecast Wave Heights:
Friday, March 8th:
Breakers near the beach will increase to 4-6 ft in the Palm Beaches and 3-4 ft in Broward/Miami-Dade beaches.
Saturday, March 9th:
Increasing to 8-10 ft in the Palm Beaches, 5-7 ft Broward beaches, and 3-6 ft Miami-Dade beaches.
Sunday, March 10th:
10-15 ft peak breakers in the Palm Beaches, 7-10 ft Broward beaches, and 5-8 ft Miami-Dade beaches.
These values are the National Weather Service’s best estimates based on the forecast swell heights just offshore as they interact with the coastline. The highest of the indicated values will be to the north, decreasing as you go south.
Increasing surf beginning Friday with rough surf conditions, potentially severe beach erosion, minor coastal flooding and dangerous rip currents Saturday and especially on Sunday. The worst of these impacts is expected in Palm Beach County, particularly the northern beaches. Significant impacts as far south as the Broward County coast with lessening but still notable impacts into the Miami-Dade beaches.
Of particular concern is the pounding surf and possible overwash onto beachside streets and communities. The National Weather Service does not expect inland intrusion of deep water, however, the possibility exists of up to a foot of water washing over dunes and seawalls in some areas.
Vulnerable locations along the Palm Beach and Broward coasts may experience significant impacts. These impacts will be magnified near the high tide times which will be during the morning and evening hours.
While this event is not expected to be of the same magnitude as the post-Sandy event last October, it will be the biggest event since that time and will come close to what we saw last fall. According to the National Weather Service, one item working slightly in our favor is that astronomical tides are not as high as last October.
The National Weather Service will provide updates through the upcoming weekend.
For detailed forecasts, contact the National Weather Service at 305-229-4550 or visit www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/.