Rare tropical storm forms over land, brings flooding threat to deep south


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A new tropical storm that developed over the Florida peninsula from a tropical wave is the first known instance of a tropical storm forming directly over the Sunshine State.

Tropical storms invariably are born over warm water, and a continental track quickly disrupts the moisture feed and overall circulation. In this rare situation, the wave was already over land and given no chance for development of the National Hurricane Center, before becoming a named tropical storm early Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Julia developed the requisite circulation features and attained the minimum wind speed (39 mph) to become the Atlantic season’s tenth tropical storm.

The center of the storm was near Savannah, Georgia, late Wednesday, drifting north-northeast at 6 mph. Maximum sustained winds were holding at 40 mph, with a gradual weakening expected over the mainland. However, heavy rain (3-6 inches) was expected to fall along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts, extending about 50 miles inland, and accompanied by gusty winds.

Flash flooding and an isolated tornado is the primary concern as the storm inches up the Southeast coast to near Charleston, South Carolina, Friday morning, and then the North Carolina coast on Saturday.

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