WTOC First Alert Weather: Tracking the tropics - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WTOC First Alert Weather: Tracking the tropics

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Still no names yet, still Tropical Depression #8 and TD #9, but already we are feeling the effects of the tropical systems in our region.

Let’s focus first on NOW: mostly cloudy skies, 40% chance of onshore locally heavy showers and thunderstorms. Don’t be surprised by the stronger northeast winds, high risk of rip currents. Plus we may, with little ceremony, break the 90s-in-a-row streak today.

The reason we mention TD #8 is because that circulation is driving our winds. Tropical Storm WARNINGS on the Outer Banks continue as it has now started to turn northward, eventually paralleling the coast and then racing off to the northeast out to sea. And the “official” forecast calls for it to become a minimal tropical storm.  So we should use a storm name here.

TD #9 is, of course, our greater concern, impacting SE Georgia with locally heavy rainfall and briefly gusty winds.  It currently sits about 340 miles west of Key West getting ready to slowly make its turn north, then later NE headed into the Big Bend of Florida.

Tropical Storm WATCHES will likely be issued for portions of Florida’s Gulf Coast later today.  It should become a tropical storm by Tuesday night (that strengthening will help make that slow turn a little easier as it is influenced by an approaching upper low), and landfall is still Thursday sunset.

The official track for TD #9 is now over Jacksonville early Friday, picking up speed as it crosses the Florida Peninsula and races by Savannah several hundred miles offshore.  And the speed is important.  We don’t want this to sit and linger, think Baton Rouge flooding earlier this year.  And this is NOT expected to be a hurricane anytime during its lifecycle, certainly a rainmaker!

How much rain?  One model last night said up to 4” total of us. That same model today says 1.5” total. This will change again, and there will be locally heavy amounts, perhaps up to 4”. But in general, today’s storms will generate a half-an-inch, tomorrow showers become likely with another half-a-inch, greatest rains should be Thursday and Thursday night, up to an inch.

Coastal flooding may be a concern. We have a New Moon at 5:04am Thursday morning, and high tides will be astronomically high plus any tropical storm force winds.  Initially, winds will support flooding concerns coming from the northeast, then tomorrow from the southeast.  But when the tropical cyclone passes Thursday into Friday, winds will swing around and be westerly.

Then it’s all done Friday. Still a chance of showers, maybe as late as sunset Friday evening, models thinking done by midday Friday. In its wake, a BEAUTIFUL Labor Day Weekend to dry out with all sunshine and highs in the 80s. Couldn’t be better! 

So I’ll wait and tell you about the next threat, INVEST 92-L, coming off Africa today. Yeah, we’ll wait for that story. We’ll be watching!

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