Tropical depression forms near Carolinas; other system threatens Gulf Coast – USA TODAY
A tropical depression formed Sunday off the East Coast and could hit the Outer Banks as a tropical storm by Tuesday,Â whileÂ a separate systemÂ threatens parts of theÂ flood-ravaged Gulf Coast this week.
Tropical Depression 8Â could develop into Tropical Storm Hermine (her-MEEN), the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.Â A tropical storm watch may be posted later.
The system wasÂ 355 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., with winds of 35 mph and moving west at 9 mph.
Drenching showers, thunderstorms and rough surf will threaten the Carolina coast this week,Â AccuWeather meteorologist Ed Vallee said.
Another system might bring additional rain to the Gulf Coast, includingÂ Louisiana, which isÂ still reeling from this month’s deadlyÂ floods that killed 13 people and destroyed thousands of homes.
The Gulf Coast threat comes from aÂ swirling mass of clouds and thunderstorms south of Florida (labeled by the hurricane centerÂ as “Invest 99L”) that’s been watched closely for 10Â days by meteorologists. As of Sunday afternoon, theÂ system hadÂ a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression or hurricane within the next two days and an 80% chance within the next five days, the center said.
The storm remains a rain threat to the entire Gulf Coast, as various forecasts have it tracking toward Texas, LouisianaÂ or Florida’s west coast.
“Welcome to another edition of “as 99L turns,” the National Weather Service in New Orleans said in an online forecast.
Heavy rain could soak the Gulf Coast even if the systemÂ doesn’t get a name, according to weather.com, asÂ did theÂ unnamed system this monthÂ that triggered Louisiana’s epic flooding.
In Pensacola, officials with Escambia County issued a statement Sunday encouraging residents “to double-check their storm supplies and began basic storm preparations.”
The strongest storm currently in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Gaston, poses no threat to land. The Category 3 storm with winds at 115 mph is the season’s first major hurricane, spinningÂ hundreds of miles east of Bermuda and is to continue movingÂ out to sea.
Yet another weather systemÂ is forecast to move offÂ the west coast of Africa andÂ begin a slow trek across the Atlantic by mid-week. The hurricane center gives that system a 50% chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm withinÂ the next five days.
In the central Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Madeline shouldÂ approachÂ Hawaii this week, moving over or near the Big Island by Wednesday, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. As of late Sunday, the storm had winds of 50 mph and was about 970 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.
Contributing: Pensacola News-Journal