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An area of low pressure spinning off the coast of the Carolinas is attempting to obtain some tropical characteristics.
The potential for development is mounting since the low is spinning in an environment that is marginally conducive for some development through Tuesday night.
The low is churning over the warm waters off the Carolina coast and wind shear is not strong enough to rip the system totally apart, according to AccuWeather Tropical Weather Expert Dan Kottlowski.
"The wind shear is expected to weaken for a time Tuesday evening and tropical storm-force wind gusts are being registered northeast of the low's center, so the potential is there for the low to become a subtropical storm," Kottlowski stated.
A subtropical storm is a hybrid between a tropical storm and a non-tropical system. In this case, the fact that the strongest winds are not near the center of the low will likely mean it would be classified as a subtropical storm.
Even if development occurs, the low would not strengthen above a minimal subtropical storm before getting absorbed by a cold front and swept into the northwestern Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday.
As the low is being monitored for development, showers and thunderstorms will continue to stream into eastern North Carolina through Tuesday evening.
While the majority remain offshore, heavy and gusty thunderstorms will still graze the North Carolina coast and Outer Banks. Any of these thunderstorms threaten to unleash blinding downpours and could kick up a wind gust to around 40 mph.
Beachgoers braving the rain are urged to seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard as the danger of being struck by lightning will then be present.
The low has also stirred up the surf along the coast of the Carolinas and seas may build further if the low gains strength.
Seas will ease some for Wednesday as the low departs. A thunderstorm will still dot parts of the coast, but conditions will improve overall for beachgoers.
The rest of the Atlantic Basin remains quiet due to persistent dry and dusty air from Africa and disruptive wind shear.
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