Southeast Coast Low Could Become ‘Subtropical’


  • Low pressure is expected to develop off the coast of the Southeast U.S. late this week.
  • It could become a subtropical depression or storm by this weekend.
  • Rain and wind will spread up the Eastern Seaboard this weekend, regardless of development.
  • Another system is likely to develop in the eastern Atlantic later this week.

A busy Atlantic hurricane season will remain so this week with one area near the Southeast U.S. coast potentially becoming a subtropical depression or storm, Hurricane Nigel in the central Atlantic and a new tropical wave emerging from Africa.

A low will form off the Southeast coast late this week. Computer models forecast a swirl of low pressure will form along an old front somewhere off the coast of eastern Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas late this week, generally within in the area circled on the map below.

(The possible area of subtropical development according to the latest National Hurricane Center outlook is shown by the polygon, color-coded by the chance of development over the next seven days. An “X” (when valid) indicates the location of a current disturbance.)

If this low can remain over the warm Gulf Stream long enough, it could sprout enough thunderstorms to warm it sufficiently to be considered a subtropical depression or storm. These are a mix of lows associated with fronts, but also have some qualities of tropical storms. The National Hurricane Center issues advisories for these subtropical systems as they do for tropical depressions and storms.

(​MORE: Subtropical Depressions And Storms Explained)

T​he next named storms in the Atlantic hurricane season will be named “Ophelia,” then “Philippe.”

T​here will likely be impacts, regardless of what it’s called. We expect this low to move generally north this weekend toward the Carolinas.

T​he difference between the low and higher pressure near New England will lead to gusty winds, particularly at the beaches, from northeast Florida to at least the mid-Atlantic states from Friday into the weekend. These winds could also whip up some high surf and rip currents. Keep this in mind if you have beach plans.

Deep, tropical moisture will also be pulled north toward the East Coast late this week. That will produce bands of locally heavy rain up and down the Eastern Seaboard from the eastern Carolinas to the mid-Atlantic states from Friday into the weekend. Local flash flooding is possible where these bands of soaking rain stall for a few hours.


Rainfall Outlook

(This should be interpreted as a broad outlook of where the heaviest rain may fall. Higher amounts may occur where bands of rain stall over a period of a few hours.

F​or now, we expect this to be primarily a nuisance into this weekend. Check back with us at for the latest updates to this forecast.

N​igel and a new tropical wave area also out there. Nigel, the sixth hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season, continues to swirl in the central Atlantic Ocean, but will curl northeast far from any land areas.

A​ new tropical wave that has just emerged from Africa is likely to become a tropical depression by this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center. Assuming it holds together, it will still remain far from land through the first half of next week. It remains to be seen whether it will ever threaten land, or curl out over the open Atlantic Ocean as Nigel will do.


Tropical Outlook For the Next Seven Days

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