Hurricane Larry to brush Bermuda, send Outer Banks great surf and deadly rip currents next week

Spectacular start to this Saturday at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, but there is a moderate risk of rip currents. [courtesy SurfChex.com]

Hurricane Larry continues to intensify as it moves into the central Atlantic, eventually taking a path that will brush Bermuda and send the U.S. East Coast some great surf next week but also the threat of deadly rip currents.

The National Hurricane Center said Larry reached category 3 status early Saturday, and is the third major hurricane in the Atlantic basin just the last two weeks. It will remain a major hurricane for the next couple of days, and could reach category 5 status.

While Larry will still be way out to sea, a long-period south swell is forecast to arrive starting Tuesday and last through the rest of the week. That will likely result in a high risk of rip currents for all of the Outer Banks beaches.

Swimmers should note that lifeguard services following Labor Day are greatly reduced as the number of beachgoers also decreases, with just roving patrols off the northern beach towns and along the villages of Hatteras Island.

There is a moderate risk for the beaches from the state line to Cape Hatteras today, including Carova, Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Bodie Island, Pea Island, Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon and Buxton.

Rough shorebreak and a strong longshore current continues along those beaches thanks to onshore winds, and only experienced surf swimmers with a flotation device should go into the ocean above their knees.

Another clear and comfortable day is forecast for Saturday, before more normal temperatures return to wrap up the long holiday weekend.

National Weather Service forecast, as of Saturday 9 a.m.:

Sunny, with a high near 79. Northeast wind 9 to 11 mph.
Mostly clear, with a low around 65. East wind around 5 mph becoming light and variable in the evening.
Sunny, with a high near 85. West wind 5 to 9 mph becoming south in the afternoon.
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85. Southwest wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Monday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 74.
Sunny, with a high near 87.
Tuesday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 74.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 87.
Wednesday Night
A chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Partly sunny, with a high near 84.
Thursday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 72.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 82.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.