N. Carolina warily watching tropical weather systems

Published 10:23 am Tuesday, August 30, 2016

BUXTON, N.C. — A tropical weather system off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks is expected to strengthen in the next day, bringing winds up to 45 mph and heavy rains that could flood low-lying areas, officials said.

By Tuesday morning, the tropical depression with winds of 35 mph (55 kph) was about 85 miles (135 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras and was expected to become a tropical storm Tuesday afternoon but not grow any stronger.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for areas of the coast from Cape Lookout to the Oregon Inlet along North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

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National Weather Service meteorologist Shane Kearns in eastern North Carolina said in an interview that “anything is possible, but we’re not really seeing any kind of significant strengthening for the storm.”

At the same time, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said that another tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico could hit northern Florida as a tropical storm later in the week and possibly head toward the Atlantic coast. They cautioned that the storm’s exact path remained uncertain days in advance, but the storm was becoming better organized Monday night.