ATLANTA - The FOX 5 Storm Team is carefully monitoring a tropical disturbance just off the coast of Georgia.
As of Monday afternoon, the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone 10 was located about 40 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina, and about 185 miles southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina. The National Hurricane Center record sustained surface winds of 40 mph with higher winds gusts of around 43 mph. It is currently near stationary.
A tropical cyclone is an area of low pressure identified by forecasters for the potential to develop further into a tropical depression, tropical storm, or even a hurricane.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 24 to 48 hours.
The storm is expected to strengthen and move northeastward Monday night into Tuesday, slowly toward the Carolina coast.
The FOX 5 Storm Team believes this system does have the potential to strengthen into a tropical storm and cause problems for residents hit hard last year by Hurricane Matthew. However, forecasters warn that the two systems should not be compared and this current storm may present different types of danger as it develops.
The area of showers and thunderstorms are expected to become better organized over the next 48 hours and could dump 3 to 6 inches along the Carolina coast up into Virginia with isolated areas seeing up to 9 inches of rain.
Forecasters said the strongest winds extend out about 85 miles. They also said the system has the potential to spin off tornadoes as it approaches land.
Right now, its impact on the Georgia coast appears to be some rough surf as well as showers and thunderstorms. However, with any tropical system, that could change. It doesn't appear that it will have any immediate impact on north Georgia, except for maybe a few stray storms.
The FOX 5 Storm Team will continue to closely monitor what may develop into Tropical Storm Irma as it progresses.