A tropical system brewing in the Gulf of Mexico has shifted gears, and local meteorologists say the Lowcountry should miss a majority of the storm’s wrath.
Steve Rowley, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Charleston, said the storm has a “high probability” to turn into a tropical storm by Wednesday. The storm is located about 240 miles west of Key West, Fla.
According to AccuWeather meteorologists, Tropical Depression Nine, previously known as 99L, is on path to turn toward the northeastern Gulf Coast later this week. Currently, the storm system is poorly organized but on track to gain strength later this week.
“It looks like it’s going to accelerate as it forms, make its way across northern Floridian and turn across the Florida-Georgia line,” Rowley said. “It should hit the Georgia coast but shouldn’t hit the Carolina coast.”
Rowley said the storm should turn off into the Atlantic after hitting the Georgia coast, and the Hilton Head area should see some rain and possibly minor flooding but “nothing near tropical storm level” this weekend.
Rip current warning
However, the National Weather Service is warning folks in the Lowcountry to stay out of the water because of heavy rip currents. Rocking waves from Hurricane Gaston and several other small storms brewing in the Atlantic are causing life-threatening rip currents.
“We expect the (Hilton Head) area will see rip current warnings all week,” he said. “Impacts from the tropical storm will be minimum.”
The next tropical storm names in the Atlantic are Hermine and Ian. A system off the North Carolina coast, currently known as Tropical Depression Eight, is in a race with Tropical Depression Nine to become the next tropical storm.