Developing Tropical System Likely to Skirt by South Carolina
A tropical wave is becoming better organized just east of Miami, and the National Hurricane Center says a tropical depression or storm could form this weekend.
The system is not expected to be a significant threat to South Carolina, but periods of heavy rain and unsettled seas are possible along the immediate coast early next week.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center increased the odds of development to 90 percent in their 2 pm Friday tropical outlook.
System Likely Stays Offshore
Satellite and radar data Friday afternoon revealed the area of low pressure (referred to by meteorologists as Invest 98) was located just east of the upper Florida Keys and drifting slowly to the northwest. Invest 98’s proximity to land and interactions with a nearby pocket of dry air may inhibit near-term organization and development. However, forecast data suggests the environment surrounding it will become more favorable for a tropical depression to form by Saturday or Sunday as it moves back over warm water east of Florida.
Model simulations from that same data are also all in agreement that the system would move parallel to the Atlantic Coast east of Georgia and South Carolina, then turn away from the United States altogether. The tropical wave, now referred to as “Invest 98” by meteorologists, is not a direct or significant tropical threat to the Palmetto State
Minor South Carolina Impacts
Substantial rainfall accumulations are not expected from Invest 98 since the system is likely to stay offshore. However, localized flooding from some outer rain bands will be possible where soils have been saturated from recent thunderstorm activity associated with a cold front.
Choppy seas and a high risk of rip currents are also possible through early next week. Local authorities and forecasters at the National Weather Service are urging all water enthusiasts, especially beach-goers and inexperienced swimmers, to use caution when entering the water. Conditions are forecast to gradually return to normal as the system pulls away toward the middle and end of next week.