Potential Tropical Cyclone Poorly Organized, Development Chances Diminishing
A tropical low pressure center pushed through Florida this weekend, producing heavy rain and some flooding. The storm is located off the coast of South Carolina is poorly organized, and according to the National Hurricane Center, chances for the system to become a tropical storm are diminishing. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter plane has been flying through the disturbance and so far, the aircraft data depicts a sharp low pressure trough with a few spots of tropical-storm-force winds east of the trough. The overall cloud pattern has not become any better organized, and the stronger winds and heavy rain is located in bands well to the northeast and southeast of the trough location.
The system is located 60 miles east of Charleston, SC, moving toward the northeast near 12 mph. This general motion with a gradual increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the system will move over or near the coast of South Carolina tonight and move along the North Carolina Outer Banks on Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. The stronger winds are over water well to the east of the area of minimum pressure.
With upper level wind shear increasing, development will be hindered. There is still potential for the system to become a tropical storm during the next 24 hours and if that does occur, it may happen as it moves near the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Regardless of whether tropical cyclone formation occurs, tropical storm conditions are still expected in the warning area in North Carolina that is in effect North of Surf City to Duck, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Surf City to South Santee River.
The National Hurricane Center says the chance for formation through 48 hours is high, at 70 percent. Beyond 24 hours, the system should acquire non-tropical characteristics. However, the exact timing of the transition is uncertain since the cyclone will still be moving over warm waters.
The low is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches along the northeastern South Carolina, North Carolina, and southeast Virginia coasts, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 9 inches. The heavier rains may result in some flooding concerns along coastal areas. Swells generated by this disturbance will affect portions of the Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina coasts during the next day or two, creating dangerous surf and rip current conditions. A brief tornado is possible tonight through midday Tuesday along the South Carolina and North Carolina coasts.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels