GREENSBORO, NC --- The North Carolina coast needs to get ready for heavy rain and gusty winds, as tropical storm watch and tropical storm warning are both now in effect.
An area of heavy storms off the coast of Georgia will track toward North Carolina later Monday afternoon and into the night and could become Tropical Storm Irma along the way.
This morning, thunderstorms are starting to organize off the coast of Georgia. These are trying to organize into a tropical system, but haven't been able to just yet. Whether this storm becomes Tropical Storm Irma or not, it doesn't actually matter too much, the impacts will be gusty winds and rain either way.
The tropical system will start to move northward, along the Georgia and South Carolina coast. All the while, heavy tropical rain will start to form and head onshore in the coastal Carolinas. By Monday afternoon and evening, most of the beaches will be dealing with rounds of these heavy showers.
Later in the night, the system will be moving along the coast of South Carolina, moving northward off the North Carolina coast by Tuesday morning. Again, heavy rounds of rain will be hitting the coast at these times, with occasional winds gusting over 40 mph.
By Tuesday afternoon, the system will be pushing off the coast of the Outer Banks, and start to track out to sea. Everything will be back to normal by Wednesday.
The main impacts for the beaches will be heavy rainfall, which will add up to 3" to 6". That may be enough to cause flooding across the coastal communities. Occasional wind gusts over 40 mph will be there, but unless they're stronger, wind damage is not expected. Rough surf will bring a greater danger to swimmers and surfers with rip currents as well.
Here in the Piedmont, we're only expecting a few scattered showers from this system, mainly Monday night and Tuesday.