Heavy Rain, Gusty Winds Possible in Lowcountry Monday from Approaching Tropical Wave
Update as of 8:00 AM Monday:
The tropical low about 190 miles east-southeast of Hilton Head is well-defined. The National Hurricane Center says even a small increase in organization would result in the low becoming a tropical depression or tropical storm before making landfall near the Georgia/South Carolina border late Monday afternoon or early evening.
Much of the weather will occur before the center of the storm reaches the coast. Squally weather is likely to arrive late Monday morning and afternoon, particularly from Charleston county and south into coastal Georgia. Wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph are likely near the immediate coast. Some of the rain bands may produce areas of flash flooding as they move onshore.
The disturbance is small and is moving quickly. Conditions should improve rapidly between sunset and midnight as the system moves over interior Georgia and weakens. A few showers could continue Tuesday near the Savannah River.
Original Story from Sunday Evening:
A tropical wave might briefly develop into a tropical depression or storm before approaching the LowCountry of South Carolina Monday. Regardless of its tropical classification, pockets of heavy rain and gusty winds are likely to occur in some spots as it moves inland.
Satellite imagery and buoy observations indicated that a small area of low pressure (identified as Invest 96) formed Sunday about 500 miles east-southeast of Savannah, Georgia. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said there was a "medium chance" a tropical depression would form before the system moves ashore Monday, and they were prepared to commission the Air Force Reserve Unit (hurricane hunters) to investigate the system if necessary.
The forecast track of Invest 96 is most likely to be to the west-northwest, which would bring the center of circulation close to Savannah, GA Monday evening. The counter-clockwise motion of air around the system would place much of South Carolina's LowCountry in a favorable region for tropical moisture to rotate in from the Atlantic on the heels of gusty east-southeast winds. The system is likely to weaken rapidly as it moves inland Monday night.
Rainfall amounts from this quick-hitting tropical system are expected to be around one inch or less in Beaufort, Charleston, Jasper counties. However, forecasters at the National Weather Service Charleston have noted that pockets of heavier rain and flooding of poor drainage areas may occur, especially near the coast. Wind gusts up to 40 mph will also be possible, especially should any heavier rain squalls develop near the coast.
Higher pressure is slated to build in quickly behind the weakening storm system Tuesday, leading to normal spotty afternoon showers and thunderstorms and near-normal temperatures.
Another tropical wave is being monitored by forecasters over the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean, but it is not anticipated to be a threat to the United States over at least the next five to seven days.