Friday, September 07, 2007

Tropical Update -- Friday Morning

With the extreme drought expanding across North Carolina, a good soaking rain would be a welcome sight this weekend. The chances for a drought busting rain are not looking good. However, a tropical system could still impact coastal North Carolina late in the weekend.

The disturbance that we have been tracking for much of the week has begun to move back to the west and northwest this morning. The area of low pressure has had a tough time strengthening over the last couple of days because of wind shear ripping the system apart. Satellite imagery this morning seems to be showing signs of a gradual strengthening phase. If this continues into the afternoon, a tropical depression could form later today or tomorrow.

As the system approaches the North Carolina coast, it will encounter the warm waters of the Gulf Stream where it could quickly strengthen into a tropical storm. If that happens, it would be named Tropical Storm Gabrielle.

Most computer models still show at least a weak tropical system moving on shore Sunday. Here's a look at just one of those models for Sunday from the State Climate Office of North Carolina --

I expect rain and wind to spread across the coast by early Sunday. Most of the rain should fall right along the coast, but locations east of I-95 all stand the chance to see rain from this storm. From the Triangle to Fayetteville, a few showers may fall from the storm, but the chance west of Fayetteville and Raleigh is not looking good.
With the potential for a tropical system off our coast this weekend, the forecast could change quickly. News 14 Carolina is your source for the most updates on the system all weekend. As always, we'll have the very latest every 10 minutes with Weather on the Ones.

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