The center of Tropical Depression #8 is currently located about 208 miles Southeast of Morehead City, NC, and is moving Northwest at 10 mph. Maximum sustained winds remain at about 35 mph, with gusts to 45 mph.
This system is expected to become a weak Tropical Storm later today or tonight. We continue to forecast that the center of this system is not likely to make landfall in the U.S. The wind field is also rather compact with the system at this time, so it is likely that the bulk of the tropical storm force winds will remain offshore in association with this system even at its closest pass to the Carolina coast on Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. It is possible that some wind gusts to tropical storm force could occur mainly on the outer banks of North Carolina on Tuesday afternoon and/or evening. The probability of sustained Tropical Storm force winds in this area is about 30 percent, as indicated on the Tropical Storm Wind Probability map shown above.
If the wind field were to expand in size with the system, then greater wind impacts would be possible in this general area. Although this is not likely or expected at this time we will continue to monitor the situation for any changes.
With a track of the center remaining off shore, the most widespread heavy rain would also remain offshore. None the less, at least scattered areas of locally heavy rain can be expected to develop in the Carolinas along the Western edge of the system mainly from later today or tonight into Tuesday and Tuesday night. Again, if the size of the system were to increase during this period, then the rainfall impacts would potentially increase accordingly.
We will continue to monitor this system and issue updates as conditions warrant.