The NHC upgraded the area of low pressure off the Southeast coast to TD #2 just a little while ago. Top winds are 35 mph with the pressure being 1009 mb. The forecast calls for only modest strengthening to tropical storm intensity before what would be “Bonnie” makes it to the South Carolina coast this weekend.
Obviously this will be a big news story just because it’s there and it’s Memorial Day weekend. The message from most outlets, and I agree with them, is that this will not be a big problem – unless you choose for it to be. If it’s raining hard, slow down or don’t be on the road at all if you can avoid it. Stay put and let the squalls pass. If you’re at the beach, be extra careful in the surf zone – rip currents will be on the increase and this is a killer hazard from “weak” tropical storms. I am very serious about this. Let’s go one season without someone drowning in the surf from a storm that otherwise has little impact on the region.
The forecast shows a fairly slow movement of the remnants of the storm somewhere off the coast of North Carolina in to early next week. While there is potential for heavy rain, I do not see anything in the computer models to suggest a major flood set up. Again, my worry is for traffic issues on I-95, US 17 and I-40 for example. Slow it down and you can avoid being one of those ding-bats who ends up in the heavy chain fence (or worse) along the median of the highway. Common sense – that’s all I’m asking. Otherwise this will not be a major impact except to possibly rain out what would normally be a very nice weekend as we unofficially begin summer.
I might head down to the South Carolina coast tomorrow for live coverage, social media posts and posting video clips to our app. I see it as a good opportunity to test a few things and get the updates rolling like I would if a powerful hurricane were coming. Once I see how things are going in the morning, I’ll decide on what to do and where to go.
I’ll have more here tomorrow.
M. Sudduth 6:45 PM ET May 27