Tropical storm warning in effect for NC coast

Pablo Tucker
August 30, 2016

Two tropical depressions will bring rain and churning seas to the East and Gulf Coasts while two hurricanes approach Hawaii.

Both tropical depressions could become tropical storms before reaching land within the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 15 miles (30 kilometers) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 kilometers). It's a factor often limiting tropical storm or hurricane development. The Miami-based center said that system is also expected to become a tropical storm by sometime Tuesday.

As of 5 p.m., the depression had maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour and is crawling west-northwest at 5 miles per hour. No advisories have been issued in connection with Tropical Depression Nine as of this point.

Tropical depression nine is now off the northwestern coast of Cuba, and is being suppressed in the Caribbean by winds, National Weather Service forecaster Steve Pfaff said. Even though Southwest Florida is not in the so-called "cone of uncertainty" at the moment, the region is expected to be on the right-front side of the storm - the side generally considered to have the strongest winds. Its forecast track shows its center will be near North Carolina's Outer Banks by Tuesday afternoon or evening.

Officials say a potential tropical storm is already forming off the coast of North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Tropical Depression Nine is centered about 170 miles west-southwest of Key West with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. It's also forecast to become a tropical storm later Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Gaston is packing maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said, and is moving slowly north at 6 miles per hour.

We did see a good scattering of showers and thunderstorms across the area Monday, but these will come to an end after sunset.

The storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to Cuba, with accumulations of 4 to 8 inches, and to south Florida and the Florida Keys, with accumulations of 3 to 5 inches there. "Now is the time to get prepared since we know our state will likely be impacted over the next few days". Flooding was reported throughout Tampa Bay as that storm passed through the area. Petersburg area of Florida were hauling out sandbags Monday to offer residents amid predictions of heavy rains. Tides may be up to 1 to 2 feet above normal levels on Wednesday and Thursday. In the Lowcountry the storm is expected to bring only slight wind gusts. A hurricane watch has been issued for the Big Island.

Between Hurricane Gaston's powerful swells rippling from the far Atlantic and a storm off North Carolina, the Weather Service has been cautioning people since the weekend not to enter the surf because of life-threatening rip currents.

See the list of 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season names.

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