The National Weather Service Newport / Morehead City office and the Hyde County Emergency Services Department are currently monitoring an area of disturbed weather situated a few hundred miles southeast of the North Carolina Coast.
Showers and thunderstorms associated with a well-defined but still weak low pressure system located a few hundred miles southeast of the North Carolina coast are gradually becoming better organized, although surface pressures in the area remain high.
Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for additional development of this system, and a tropical depression is likely to form over the next couple of days while it moves slowly northwestward and stalls or meanders near the coast of North Carolina over the weekend. Residents and visitors along the North Carolina and South Carolina coasts should monitor the progress of this system during the next several days.
The low pressure system is expected to continue on a west-northwest or northwest bearing for the next couple of days and is likely to become a tropical depression within that timeframe. Competing high pressures will cause the system to slow down and either stall or meander off the coast of North Carolina beginning on Sunday. It should be noted there is a slight chance the system could be steered onshore if the landward high pressure is stronger than its competitor.
A cold front approaching from north to south should inhibit further intensification of the system by producing vertical wind shear and colder/drier air north of the front could become entrained in the circulation. Regardless, the front will weaken over North Carolina and the high pressure that builds behind the front is anticipated to weaken as well. Therefore, a pattern of weak steering currents will remain until next week, when a new trough develops around the Great Lakes and moves to the east. The storm could resume intensification in the absence of the cold front and should remain just off the coast until the previously mentioned trough develops and steers it out to sea.
Citizens should monitor their local weather stations, the NWS WFOs, and the National Hurricane Center for timely information on this system.
For more info, visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather forecast information, or the National Weather Service office in Newport / Morehead City’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity/.