State News

Tropical Storm Danny weakens; watch issued on N.C. coast

Posted August 26, 2009 11:10 p.m. EDT
Updated August 27, 2009 11:10 p.m. EDT

— Tropical Storm Danny weakened in the Atlantic Thursday afternoon but edged closer to the U.S. coast, prompting the National Hurricane Center to issue a tropical storm watch for part of the North Carolina coast.

The watch – which means tropical storm conditions with winds 39-58 mph are possible within the watch area generally within 36 hours – is in effect from Cape Lookout northward to Duck, including the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.

At 11 p.m., Danny had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and was about 485 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras and moving north-northwest at 8 mph.

"It has a very well-defined circulation but the circulation is not underneath any of the thunderstorm activity, so the winds have actually weakened a bit during the course of the past 12 hours," WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

The storm is forecast to increase in forward speed and turn toward the northwest later Thursday night before turning toward the north at a faster speed on Friday.

"It will basically skirt the coast as we head toward the wee hours of Saturday morning, and then accelerate off to the north and east, away from the area, during the day on Saturday," Fishel said.

“It is quite possible it may never become a hurricane,” Meteorologist Mike Maze said.

It won't have an impact on the Triangle or central North Carolina, but the storm could have some impact along the coast, especially along the Outer Banks, he added.

That could mean a situation along the coast similar to what Hurricane Bill did last weekend, tropical storm winds bringing high, rough surf, dangerous rip tides and beach erosion.