Hurricane Earl could produce dangerous rip currents at area beaches

Hurricane Earl may cause dangerous surf and rip current conditions at NY and NJ area beaches through the weekend.

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Hurricane Earl may cause dangerous surf and rip current conditions at NY and NJ area beaches through the weekend. Lee Goldberg has more on the impact.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Hurricane Earl churned through open waters in the Atlantic Ocean and was forecast to pass just southeast of Bermuda on Thursday night as a Category 3 storm.

The island's national security minister, Michael Weeks, told reporters that public services and government offices would keep operating but warned residents to brace for tropical storm conditions.

"Bermuda will certainly feel the effects from Earl, so we must guard against complacency," he said.

While Earl will remain well away from the U.S. mainland, swells generated by the hurricane will impact the east coast.

These swells are likely to cause dangerous surf and rip current conditions at area beaches through the weekend.

Recent onshore winds and an approaching full moon (9/10) will also contribute to the rough surf, according to meteorologist Lee Goldberg.

Earl was centered about 440 miles (705 kilometers) south of Bermuda on Wednesday afternoon. It had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph) and was traveling north at 8 mph (13 kph).

Farther out, Hurricane Danielle was kicking up high seas from its center some 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) northwest of the Azores.

It had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph).

On the west coast, Hurricane Kay gained strength in the Pacific Wednesday and began lashing Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, where authorities prepared by opening shelters and closing some roads.

Forecasters said there's a chance outer bands of the big storm could bring heavy rain - and possibly flash floods - to parts of scorched Southern California and southwestern Arizona Friday night and Saturday.

Information from the Associated Press and the National Hurricane Center.

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