Tropical Depression 9 could give the North Carolina coast the blues this Labor Day weekend.
The weather system churning in the Gulf of Mexico is on a track to grow into a tropical storm that could march across the midsection of Florida north of Tampa and hit the Outer Banks sometime Saturday, the National Weather Servicewarned Tuesday.
But before that storm arrives to spoil the start of the last busy weekend of summer, the North Carolina coast has to contend with Tropical Depression 8, which is expected to rake the area later Tuesday with 45-mph winds, higher gusts and heavy rain that could flood low-lying areas through Wednesday.
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“That will be the 1st of the 2 punches,” said Steve Pfaff, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “But all eyes are on TD 9. That could ride up our way and make it very dangerous for beachgoers over Labor Day weekend.”
Meaning a trifecta of potential trouble — dangerous undertows, dangerous swells and lots of rain.
“The big question is how much,” said Mr. Pfaff. “We could get anywhere from an inch to 3 inches if it tracks further west.”
The silver lining, and there is likely to be one is that once the storm is gone, the rest of the Labor Day weekend could be a thing of beauty, said Mr. Pfaff.
“The weather could get nice by the Sunday/Monday time frame,” he said.
TD 9 was about 240 miles west of Key West, Fl, with maximum winds of 35 mph. It was moving west, but forecasters say it could curve back to the northeast in the coming days.
Is it a potential hurricane? Not likely, said Dennis Feltgen of the National Hurricane Center.
“The latest forecast does not see that as a possibility,” he said. “It is kept as a tropical storm into Saturday, after which time it loses its tropical characteristics on Sunday as it moves away from the US Coastline.”
The sandbags were out at some locations in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area as Florida residents braced for a downpour.
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