EASTERN CAROLINA - An area of low pressure intensifying off the coast of Georgia will likely become our first tropical storm of the season, and the atmospheric setup looks to bring it here for the holiday weekend.
Right now, the National Hurricane Center is calling this broad area of low pressure Invest 91L.
Right now the atmosphere just off the Georgia coast is favorable for tropical development. Water vapor content is high and ocean waters are at least 80°. Slight wind shear to the north is slowing development. This could be one of the reasons the NHC has only given Invest 91L a 60% of becoming a tropical depression in the next two days, but increases to 80% five days out.
Our forecast is Invest 91L will become a tropical depression in the next two days and a tropical storm in the next five. If it does become a tropical storm, it will take on the name Arthur.
In the past-24 hours Invest 91L has drifted south. Originally it was located just off shore from the North Carolina/South Carolina state line. Now it is about 200 miles off shore from central Georgia.
Forecast models are in a general agreement that the area of investigation will continue to track south through early Monday. By Tuesday an approaching upper-level trough will begin to scoop the storm north, towards North Carolina. Our forecast right now will likely bring this storm through the outer banks early in the Fourth of July weekend.
Steps to a Tropical Storm
-Area of Investigation:This is an area of broadly disorganized storms with a poorly defined area of low pressure.
-Tropical Depression: A group of showers and thunderstorms in the tropics with a defined center of low pressure. Sustained winds are less than 39 mph within the depression
-Tropical Storm: A group of showers and thunderstorms in an organized and well defined circulation, with a well defined center of low pressure. Wind speeds within the storm have been sustained at or above 39 mph for at least one minute.