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Julia to stir seas along southeastern US coast this weekend

By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
September 18, 2016, 9:25:13 PM EDT

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Tropical Depression Julia will linger and bring rough surf, beach erosion and showers to the coastal areas of Carolinas through this weekend.

“The center of Julia has wandered over the Atlantic Ocean,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

While Julia remains weak, the combination of northeasterly winds and the full moon will cause minor to moderate coastal flooding at times of high tide through the end of the week.

The greatest risk of coastal flooding and beach erosion will extend from near Tybee Island, Georgia, to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The slow, meandering nature of Julia will extend the rough surf, rip currents and minor coastal flooding risk through this weekend.

People spending time at the beach or pleasure boating should heed all advisories as they are issued.

The strongest wind gusts will occur along the coastal areas of the Carolinas. Wind gusts between 20 and 30 mph will be common.

There is the potential for a couple of waterspouts to occur. As a result, people spending time over the water need to be vigilant for rapidly changing weather conditions.

AccuWeather Atlantic hurricane center
Interactive radar loop of Julia
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Julia produced 3 to 6 inches of rain across portions of eastern Georgia and South Carolina as it tracked from northeastern Florida to off the Southeast coast on Wednesday.

With the storm expected to remain off the coast, the worst of the rain will stay offshore.


Whether or not Julia weakens, strengthens or holds on as a tropical depression will depend on wind shear and the path the system takes over the next several days.

Wind shear is defined as the change in wind speed and direction with height. Tropical systems remain organized and strengthen when wind shear is weak.

Should Julia hover over the warm waters of the Gulf stream, it could hold strength as a tropical depression. However, it is possible that strong wind shear may cause bring the demise of the tropical system, despite the warm water.

By early next week, some moisture from Julia may be drawn northward into coastal areas of the Northeast, where abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions exist.

Julia is the third tropical system to make landfall across Florida this season, following Hurricane Hermine in early September and Tropical Storm Colin in June.

For Florida, this is the first time on record that a tropical system was named over land. Only a very small percentage of tropical systems form over land.

Another system in the Atlantic worth watching is Tropical Storm Karl.

Story content contributed by Brett Rathbun, AccuWeather meteorologist.

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