Many here on the East End might not have known it at the time, but Tuesday’s late-day rain was a reminder that hurricane season is well upon us. Tropical Storm Claudette, which began in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, swept quickly across the southeastern states on Monday before moving over Cape Hatteras and into the Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center expects an above-normal season again, with 6 to 10 hurricanes. Three to five of these will likely be considered major, that is, Category 3 or higher, with winds exceeding 110 miles per hour.
While there is a lot of coastline along the Gulf and Eastern Seaboard and the chance of the center of a named storm of 39 miles per hour winds or higher passing over any particular location is low, impacts can reach over wide areas. High seas eat away at already shortened beaches, as in Montauk, where yet another expensive round of sand was to be trucked in this week. Because Claudette remained offshore and was at a fast trot, only about half an inch of rain was recorded on the South Fork, but there was something about the way it came down that seemed a foreshadowing.