A post-Florence tropical disturbance could further soak the Carolinas

By Devin Rodriguez

Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg, Fla.

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New York Urban Search and Rescue team members evaluate a flooded section of Bragg Boulevard in Spring Lake, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. Photo courtesy of Julia Wall/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS
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Davis H. Elliot Company, Inc. employees from Ohio work to erect a new utility pole along NC 306 near the Cherry Branch Ferry Terminal on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, in Havelock, N.C. A majority of the utility poles along NC 306 were destroyed by Hurricane Florence. Photo courtesy of Robert Willett/ Raleigh News & Observer/TNS

Sept. 25 — It’s been an busy hurricane season in the Atlantic and this week the National Hurricane Center is monitoring three tropical disturbances that have chances of strengthening — including one that could affect the Carolinas as it continues to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

Forecasters say a tropical disturbance, located nearly 300 miles off the East Coast, could strengthen into a cyclone in the next two days. Despite its proximity to the path of Florence, it is not associated with the hurricane, which dissipated into a large frontal boundary over the mid- Atlantic states.

“No, this storm system does not have anything to do with Florence,” said Dennis Feltgen, meteorologist and communications coordinator with the National Hurricane Center. “This new system developed from a much larger pressure system. It it were to develop into a named storm, it would get a different name.”

Next on the list: Michael.

Forecasters say the scattered set of storms will continue moving north-northeast back out into the Atlantic. Feltgen said the brunt of the storms are on the northeast side of the system, away from the Carolina coast. While the coastline will see scattered showers Tuesday night and well into the evening, the majority of water will not strike the coast, forecasters said.

South of that storm, approaching the western Caribbean, the remnants of Kirk have a 60 percent chance of regaining strength. But forecasters say unfavorable wind conditions over the next five days should slow and break up the storm before it reaches the Caribbean. For now, the storm is trudging along westward at 25 mph and threatens heavy storms for the Windward and Leeward islands.

Tropical Depression Leslie is predicted to regain strength as it marches north-northeast in the Atlantic over the next five days. The storm is set to merge with a cold front over the next two days but then join forces with a tropical cyclone in its path. Forecasters said the storm’s full trajectory is still unknown but expectations are that Leslie will continue north and dissipate over time.