AP NEWS

Tropical storm watch posted for Carolina beaches with Irma likely to form Monday

August 27, 2017 GMT

Talk about a double whammy! While Texas is reeling from Harvey, residents along the East Coast from the Carolinas to Cape Cod are preparing for rain, gusty winds and rough surf from what is likely to become Tropical Storm Irma.

Already, the National Weather Service has hoisted a tropical storm watch for the Atlantic coast from Georgetown, S.C., to the tip of Cape Hatteras.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami has given the wave of low pressure currently situated just off the northeast Florida coastline - designated Potential Tropical Cyclone Ten - a 70 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm within 48 hours. Already, the cluster of showers and thunderstorms has dropped seven to 13 inches of rainfall in 24 hours across Manatee County on Florida’s Gulf Coast, prompting the evacuation of 26 people from 63 homes that flooded. Flood advisories remain in effect for much of the greater Tampa area.

The Hurricane Center notes that this system is “gradually becoming better organized,” and it is likely to become a tropical storm by Monday evening as it parallels the South Atlantic coastline.

Onshore winds gusting to 40 mph and rough swells can be expected Monday and into very early Tuesday along the beaches of South Carolina and Georgia, before rolling up along the Delmarva Peninsula and spinning off the Mid-Atlantic states Tuesday afternoon.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms are likely for the Carolina shoreline, especially Cape Hatteras. The highest amounts will probably fall in North Carolina east of the line through Robertson, Wayne and Bertie counties, where one to three inches are possible. Seaside cities, such as Wilmington, Morehead City, N.C., and Nags Head, N.C., could see localized amounts approaching four to five inches.

Low astronomical tides mean that anything more than minor coastal splash-over and flooding appears unlikely.

Winds of tropical storm force are possible along the eastern shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.