Rainy weekend threatens as tropical depression churns up coast

Rain is back in the forecast, like it was two weekends ago for football fans at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

That rainy mess overhead isn’t going anywhere in a hurry, except offshore where it could turn into a tropical depression.

Meanwhile, the closer to the coast you get, the wetter it will be through Saturday, forecasters say. On Thursday, the National Weather Service, Charleston, put the rain chances for Friday at 50 percent to 60 percent along the beaches and 30 percent in North Charleston.

Saturday, the beaches have a 40 percent chance of rain as the system begins to blow away to the east.

“It could be gusty at times, but nothing too crazy,” said meteorologist Emily Timte, with the weather service. “It should pull out of here by late this weekend.”

The heart of the storm was dropping heavy rain over Florida on Thursday and was expected to move into the Atlantic by Saturday. None of the leading computer models were calling for it to develop into a tropical depression, said Jeff Masters of Weather Underground.

National Hurricane Center Forecasters, though, called for a 30 percent chance that it would within five days. Weather and winds persist in the region that tend to stir tropical systems from storms that blow offshore, said Mark Malsick, S.C. Climate Office severe weather liaison.

Tropical storms Ana and Claudette formed offshore in May and July, respectively. The same weather pattern formed Hurricane Gaston, which came ashore here in 2004.

Malsick said there is a decent chance this storm could develop, but weather coming across the country should keep it out to sea.

“It’s definitely something we’ll have to keep an eye on,” Timte said.

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