It’s a tired story, I know, but every time there’s a potential for a tropical soaking residents of Texas just can’t help but perk up their ears. “Where? South Carolina?! Oh, come on!”
It’s true. South Carolina is in the crosshairs, this time.
Tropical Disturbance 50 is now about 655 miles southeast of Miami. It’s a new storm so data is limited at this time. It’s drifting northwest and its maximum sustained winds are 20 mph. That doesn’t sound like much, but there is some strengthening likely as we head into early next week. Strengthening, that is, to tropical storm force — not hurricane force. In other words, the perfect type of storm needed in Texas to begin chipping away at the 30+ inch rainfall deficit for places like Houston and Austin.
Not only will the storm not likely reach hurricane force (chances for hurricane development are just 15%) it will weaken quickly as it reaches the Georgia/South Carolina border so that tropical storm winds will be confined to coastal regions. Though not expected, a small shift in track could keep the storm off the coast and over the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream — and that could change everything. That scenario is not expected, though the next name on the Atlantic tropical storm list is Rina.
As for rainfall, the Bahamas and southern Florida should expect scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, some with heavy rainfall through the weekend; especially so for Florida on Sunday. Much-needed showers and widespread thunderstorms are expected for Georgia and South Carolina Monday and Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Philippe continues churning in the central North Atlantic while being no threat to land. This storm has been plugging along since the National Hurricane Center named it as a tropical depression and then a tropical storm on September 24.
Elsewhere, there’s not much going on. We are, however, keeping an eye on the western Caribbean. Not only is this a seasonally ripe area for development, but the arrival of the MJO by mid-month may help develop something. We’ll see…