MIAMI(CBS4) – Thursday won't exactly be a beach day. South Florida will be on the outer edge of Hurricane Irene as it moves north through the northern Bahamas.
South Floridians can expect breezy sun, clouds with occasional squalls accompanied by tropical downpours and wind gusts up to 50 mph, according to CBS4 meteorologist Craig Setzer.
Any light items such as plants or lawn furniture should be moved inside or up against your house.
The seas will be rough as will the surf. A small craft advisory has been issued for boaters.
The National Park Service has shut down all of the Biscayne National Park Islands due to the stormy weather. Those park islands include Boca Chita Key, Eliott Key, and Adams Key. While the islands are closed to the public, the park waters remain open but mariners are strongly to heed all marine warnings.
The park's Dante Fascell Visitor Center and park headquarters (on the mainland, 9 miles East of Homestead) will remain open. The island closure will remain in effect until further notice.
CBS4's Jorge Estevez was at Haulover Beach where lifeguards posted red flags to alert swimmers of high surf and strong currents, urging people to stay out of the water. But not everyone was taking precaution.
"Well the surfers are going to enjoy what they see and the swimmers don't really recognize the risk in the ocean," beach safety manager Joseph McManus said. "They think of it as a day at the pool, and it's not a day at the pool.
In Westchester and other parts of South Florida, drivers had a tough commute with the rain and puddles.
At 9 a.m. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reported that they had a total of 31 cancelled flights in and out of the Bahamas due to Irene weather related conditions; impacted destinations include Nassau, Freeport, Georgetown, Governor's Harbor and Marsh Harbor/Treasure Cay.
Airport officials said they were also experiencing weather related delays of up to one hour with flights to and from the Northeast because of weather conditions there. Those delays were not related to Hurricane Irene.
At 9:15 a.m. Miami International Airport saw 67 cancelled arrivals and 65 cancelled departures due to Hurricane Irene. The cancellations affect numerous cities on the east coast of the U.S and the Bahamas. But by 4:15 p.m. there were 21 arrival and departure delays and 140 arrival and departure cancellations.
- You can get complete details on the storm, including up-to date maps and forecasts, at the CBSMiami Tropical Weather Center.
- You can also check on preps for tropical weather with checklists, shutter advice, and even preparation videos at CBSMiami Hurricane Preps
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