A whirling mess of wind and rain moving through the
Bahamas on Friday turned into a tropical storm. But it’s most likely to turn and head back out to sea before reaching South Carolina.
Tropical Storm Humberto was moving northwest at 6 mph with 40 mph winds at 11 p.m. Friday and “is expected to be over the Atlantic waters well southeast of the coast of the Carolinas,” National Hurricane Center specialist Lixion Avila said Friday.
Avila said there’s a chance of heavy rainfall and scattered flash flooding over the weekend from Florida to South Carolina before the storm makes that turn.
But changes on Friday to the forecast track for the storm consistently moved it farther from the South Carolina coast, and Avila said computer model runs continued to suggest it would move farther east than that.
The National Weather Service office in North Charleston said it was becoming less likely the coast will see heavy rain, but some rainfall is expected. Rip currents will be a threat at the beaches.
There’s still some uncertainty in the track of the storm, though, and any movement closer to the coast could bring more rain, said weather service meteorologist Rebecca Davidson.
The storm was moving over the same Bahama islands wracked by ferocious winds and storm surge from Hurricane Dorian last week.
The storm had slowed to a crawl earlier Friday, moving at 1 mph, similar to Dorian’s stall in nearly the same location, but ramped up Friday evening.
Don’t relax just yet. The longer range forecast models, which attempt to predict a storm’s movement beyond five days, aren’t so convinced about this one.
The two leading models suggest the air currents that steer a tropical system might collapse later next week.
That could leave the storm stalled close enough to the East Coast to keep watch on, said meteorologist Jeff Masters, with the forecasting company Weather Underground.
Meanwhile, a storm in the Atlantic that forecasters worry could become a hurricane will move into the outer Caribbean Islands on Monday, on a track that could turn it toward the Southeast coast.
And another whirling storm system just blew off the western African coast, and it could also become a hurricane.