2 pm storm

The odds dropped Tuesday that a storm near the Bahamas will strengthen severely as forecasters continue to see its potential track moving away from a South Carolina landfall.

The storm could skirt the state's coast by the weekend as a weak tropical storm, bringing rain and some gusts, officials said.

National Hurricane Center specialist Eric Blake gave a 30 percent chance the storm would turn into a tropical system. The center's forecast track would move it north off Florida.

"Regardless of development, very heavy rain and flooding is possible over portions of the Florida peninsula during the next few days," Blake said.

In the warm Gulf Stream waters off Florida, cyclones historically have churned up quickly from slow drifting storms to threaten the South Carolina coast. But weather moving across the country is expected to push this storm out to sea.

Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters said the storm on Tuesday wasn't producing a lot of thunderstorms — a signature of an emerging tropical system. He concurred it was more likely turn into a cyclone, if it does at all, as it moves away from Florida and the Southeast coast over the weekend.

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Reach Bo Petersen Reporter at Facebook, @bopete on Twitter or 1-843-937-5744.

Science and environment reporter. Author of Washing Our Hands in the Clouds.

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