Tropical depression turns north in the Gulf

Cheryl Sanders
August 31, 2016

At 7 p.m., the center of Tropical Depression Nine was located near latitude 24.2 North, longitude 87.7 West.

This one is the most immediate threat to USA soil, as it is churning less than 100 miles from the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Of course, any variation in the storm track could necessitate changes in future forecasts.

Forecasters earlier had anxious the area could get up to 5 inches of rain as the storm passed near the coast. But forecasters say the storm isn't expected to surpass tropical-storm strength as it lashes North Carolina beaches through Wednesday.

The center said the Georgia and SC coasts should expect 4 to 7 inches of rain after the storm swings northeast from Florida, and amounts could reach 10 inches in some places.

Drier air and strong upper atmosphere winds are weakening Hurricane Madeline as it approaches Hawaii.

Another unnamed tropical depression was turning out to sea on Wednesday after threatening the North Carolina coast, according to the hurricane center.

State officials expect landfall in Florida's Big Bend by late afternoon or evening Thursday, with the worst of the impacts overnight on Thursday.

At the same time, a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico prompted the U.S. National Hurricane Center to issue a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch for areas of Florida's Gulf coast. Byron Miller, manager of The Ocracoke Harbor Inn, said in a telephone interview that "it's just a normal day".

In addition, the forecast cone doesn't show the expected extent of damage or impact from any particular storm which can extend well beyond where the forecast cone is set. It is moving northwest at 5 miles per hour.

With the storm centered about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south of Cape Hatteras on Tuesday night, a tropical storm warning was in effect for much of the Outer Banks. "On the forecast track, the center of the tropical cyclone will approach the northwest Florida coast in the warning area on Thursday afternoon". Some areas could see up to 15 inches of rain.

Nearly two-thirds of Florida's counties are now under a state of emergency because of a tropical depression that's intensifying in the Gulf of Mexico and expected to make landfall Thursday afternoon as either a tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane.

Chevalier says the last hurricane to make landfall in Hawaii was Hurricane Iniki in 1992, which hit Kauai Island.

Late on Tuesday, the hurricane center also said in an advisory that Hurricane Gaston reached major hurricane strength once again, but was no threat to land. Large waves also attracted surfers from out of town.

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