An area of low pressure developing in the Bahamas and pushing toward Florida didn’t look like it was going to develop into a tropical cyclone, but Mother Nature had other plans. Weather prediction computer models forecasted the low pressure center to spend most of its time over land. However, it skirted the eastern Florida coast Tuesday long enough to gain tropical characteristics and strength. Around 10 pm EDT, the National Hurricane Center determined the presence of Tropical Storm force winds and the cyclone was given the name Julia. The center of circulation was over land near St. Augustine, FL as it was upgraded. This is the first time in recorded history that a Tropical Storm formed over land in the state of Florida. As Julia moves north, the system will weaken and slow in its forward progress.
On Tuesday, the tropical wave battered Florida’s Space Coast. A tornado was confirmed near Barefoot Bay by the National Weather Service of Melbourne. The area also experienced street flooding from torrential downpours. Going forward, heavy rain and flooding will be the primary threats. The danger now shifts north to the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. from Charleston to Savannah, 6-10″ of rainfall are possible. The NWS also warns of high waves and rip currents. As the storm slowly weakens, the winds will do the same. Still, gusts upwards of 40 mph are possible. The Storm Prediction Center has also highlighted a marginal risk of severe weather for the possibility of isolated spin-ups.
For WeatherNation, Meteorologist Karissa Klos