Patrick’s Weather Blog: A tropical storm for July 4th?

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jun 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-29 19:42:02-04

It's probably the last thing that folks who count on tourist dollars want to hear.  We're tracking a developing system that could grow into a tropical storm and pay us a visit just in time for the busy 4th of July weekend.

Right now, a weak area of low pressure is churning off the Florida coast.  It appears to be getting a little better organized.  But a strong area of high pressure to our north should keep it bottled up and fairly weak for the next few days. Click here to track it with our interactive hurricane tracker.

Once that high moves away, the low is expected to make a sharp turn to the north and head in our general direction.
Most of the major forecast models agree that the system will move into coastal Carolina and Virginia.
The big question is how strong the system will be once it gets here.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center believe the system will develop into a tropical depression over the next 48 hours or so.

And once it's free of the high to our north, they believe it could even grow into Tropical Storm Arthur, our first named storm of the 2014 season.
The major computer forecast models are giving us mixed signals.  The GFS expects the system will stay pretty weak and disorganized as it moves our way, only getting its act together once it moves northeast of us.
However, the European model is a lot more aggressive, expecting the system to strengthen and become well organized as it impacts our coast.
A Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to fly through the storm on Monday, giving forecasters a better understanding of what's going on inside.
Stay tuned.

Patrick Rockey
NewsChannel 3 Chief Meteorologist

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