May 7, 2015
Coastal low likely will be Tropical Storm Ana by Friday
By IRENE NOLAN
National Hurricane Center is giving the low pressure area off the South
Carolina coast a 80 percent chance of developing into a tropical system
-- probably a sub-tropical storm -- by Friday. If so, the storm
will be named Ana.
However, whether the storm is named or not, it's likely to bring nasty weather to the southeast coast right into next week.
Elardo, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Newport,
N.C., said this afternoon that although the track and intensity of the
low pressure area are still uncertain, it is probable that the major
effects will remain south of Hatteras and Ocracoke.
islands can expect showery weather -- but not steady rainfall --
through the weekend, gusty winds, heavy seas, and an increased threat
of rip currents. In our area, he said, there still could be some
minor issues with beach erosion and ocean overwash, especially with the
long duration of the northeast, east, then southeast winds.
Hurricane Hunter aircraft this morning flew through the low pressure,
called Invest 90L, which is located about 230 miles southeast of the
North Carolina-South Carolina border. The Hurricane Hunters measured
winds of 40 to 45 mph in the area but found no well-defined center and
not enough thunderstorms to upgrade it to sub-tropical or tropical
In its 2 p.m. update, the Hurricane Center said,
"Environmental conditions are favorable for some additional
development, and any increase in the organization of the associated
activity would result in the formation of a subtropical cyclone. The
low is expected to drift to the north or north-northwest over the next
couple of days, and interests along the southeastern coast of the
United States should continue to monitor the progress of this system."
at the National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., say that a high
pressure to the north is blocking the low from moving. That,
combined with very weak upper level steering currents, means the low
pressure is likely to move very little through the weekend.
models, forecasters say, are coming into good agreement that the stormy
weather will move back toward the South Carolina coast on Friday, stall
over the weekend, then weaken and lift north over the North Carolina
coast Sunday night into Monday. The system may not totally clear the
coast until it is pushed out by a cold front on Tuesday or so.
Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory from Cape Hatteras
south for a high threat of rip currents and heavy seas. Breaking waves
are expected to build to 6 to 9 feet by tonight south of the Cape.
will also be rough for mariners," Elardo said. A small-craft
advisory is in effect for area waters until 8 p.m. Monday.
There is a chance for rain every day through next Tuesday.
official start of the hurricane season is not until June 1. Tropical or
sub-tropical systems are unusual this early in the year, but not
According to weather records dating back to 1851, 39
tropical storms have formed in the Atlantic basin before June 1. The
last time this happened was in 2012 when two tropical systems formed in
May -- Alberto and Beryl. Beryl came ashore in north Florida as a
tropical storm after meandering around in the ocean.
Residents of and visitors to Hatteras and Ocracoke should continue to check the latest forecasts on the storm at http://www.weather.gov/mhx/.