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But system expected to bring dangerous rip currents to N.C. coast
SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Wilmington-area residents can breathe a sigh of relief as a tropical storm currently off the Florida coast looks like it will spin out to see and not stop by for a coastal Carolina visit.
The Carolinas are now out of the cone of uncertainty in the storm’s projection as Tropical Storm Humberto is expected to take a sharp right turn off the coast of Florida in the next 36 hours.
Humberto was 120 miles off the coast of Grand Bahama Island and moving northwest at 7 mph as of late Saturday afternoon.
Humberto is expected to be categorized as a hurricane by Sunday night as it crawls northwest, according to the National Hurricane Center. Tropical storm warnings remain in effect for the northwestern part of the Bahamas. The Bahamas could see up to 3 inches of rain, while residents on the Florida and Georgia coasts could see up to an inch of precipitation.
Meteorologists from the National Weather Service in Wilmington said the only impacts from this system the Wilmington area will see are strong rip currents starting this weekend and continuing through early next week.
Rips are powerful channels of water flowing away from the beach. They can trap even the strongest swimmers, and drownings occur as people exhaust themselves fighting the powerful currents. They are the leading killer along the N.C. coast.
September represents the height of hurricane season, and officials said residents should still keep an eye on the tropics even as the threat from Humberto recedes.
Saturday the National Hurricane Center was tracking two other tropical disturbances along with Humberto.
September storms that have impacted the Cape Fear region include last week’s Hurricane Dorian, 1999’s Hurricane Floyd, and last year’s Hurricane Florence, which struck one year ago Saturday.
Reporter Ashley Morris can be reached at 910-343-2096 or Ashley.Morris@StarNewsOnline.com.