A tropical disturbance near the Bahamas became Tropical Storm Cristobal on Sunday morning — the third named storm of the 2014 hurricane season.
Cristobal had sustained winds of 45 mph on Sunday. The storm is expected to strengthen to hurricane status (sustained winds of at least 74 mph) over the next couple days as it moves northward over the open water of the Atlantic Ocean.
A ridge of high pressure is expected to steer Cristobal’s track away from the coast of the United States.
The only potential impact from the storm in Ocean City would be increased surf and currents — that would likely peak on Friday, if Cristobal follows the predicted track. If the storm moves farther away from the coast, the effect would be diminished.
“Even if a tropical storm or hurricane were to stay east of the East Coast of the U.S., a strong system would generate swells that propagate outward that could reach the shoreline in the form of rough surf and strong rip currents during the last week of August,” Accuweather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
Forecasters predict the storm will have passed Ocean City before Labor Day Weekend starts.
In a Monday morning update, Heritage Surf predicts in its surf forecast that the surf could arrive as early as Wednesday: “Look for the first groundswell lines to fill in around lunchtime on Wednesday, quickly building all afternoon going overhead by dark … By Thursday morning, the swell will be in full effect.”