CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Lowcountry could be impacted by the latest tropical depression to form this hurricane season while the North Carolina coast is preparing for a pass by a second tropical depression.
At 11 a.m. Monday,the center of Tropical Depression Nine was near latitude 23.6 North, longitude 84.3 West. The depression is moving toward the west near seven mph. A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast Monday, followed by a slow northwestward motion on Tuesday.
On the forecast track, the center of the depression will be passing north of the north coast of western Cuba Monday, and moving farther into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Monday night.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the depression could become a tropical storm by Monday night.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb.
The depression is expected to produce total rain accumulations of four to eight inches over Cuba, with isolated amounts of 12 inches possible through Wednesday. These rains could cause flash floods and mud slides. Total rain accumulations of three to five inches are possible over the southern Florida peninsula and the Florida Keys through Wednesday. Isolated maximum amounts of seven inches could occur over the Keys and coastal areas of southern Florida. This rainfall may cause localized flooding.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the coast of North Carolina from Cape Lookout to Oregon Inlet ahead of Tropical Depression Eight which is slowly approaching the area.
The watch is in effect for the coast of North Carolina from Cape Lookout to Oregon Inlet and means tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 36 hours. Interests elsewhere along the Outer Banks of North Carolina should monitor the progress of the depression.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Slow strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm by early Tuesday.
At 11 a.m., the center of Tropical Depression Eight was located near latitude 33.2 North, longitude 73.5 West. The depression is moving toward the northwest near seven mph.
On the forecast track, the center of the cyclone will pass near the North Carolina Outer Banks late Tuesday.
At 11 a.m., the center of Hurricane Gaston was located near latitude 31.0 North, longitude 55.4 West. Gaston is moving toward the north near 2 mph.
A turn toward the northeast and a faster forward speed are expected later Monday, and an east-northeastward motion is expected on Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 110 mph with higher gusts.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 960 mb.
The National Weather Service in Charleston warned of a high risk of rip currents Sunday afternoon.
Wind and wave conditions support the development of very strong rip currents, forecasters say. The rip currents will be life-threatening to anyone who enters the surf, according to the statement.
The risk area extends from southeast Georgia to southeast South Carolina through coastal Berkeley County.
The statement shows the danger will extend through 5 p.m. Monday.
The fourth area being watched is a weak trough of low pressure located just offshore of the central coast of Texas is producing disorganized showers and a few thunderstorms over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico and adjacent coastal areas. Proximity to land and only marginally favorable upper-level winds are expected to inhibit development while the system drifts southwestward during the next day or so.
Meanwhile, a tropical wave is expected to move offshore of the west coast of Africa later Monday or Monday night. Conditions are expected to be favorable for gradual development of this system later this week while it moves westward at 15 to 20 mph over the tropical Atlantic.
Forecasters say this wave has a 50 percent chance of formation over the next five days.