LUMBERTON — Robeson County residents need not cancel their beach plans this weekend as Tropical Storm Julia moves along the coast.
“Fortunately it’s going to stay offshore,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Stave Pfaff.
As of 5 this morning, Julia was located about 240 miles southeast of Charleston. The storm was carrying maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving at about 5 mph.
Pfaff said the North Carolina coast could experience some showers over the next few days, but the rain would more likely be normal “end-of-summer rainfall” than a product of Julia.
“Most of the rainfall is going to be far out over the ocean,” he said.
The biggest concern from Julia is rough surf. As always, Pfaff said, people should be vigilant when going in the ocean and pay attention to any advisories. Surf conditions should improve next week, he said. As of this morning, a rip current statement had been issued for Morehead City and Jacksonville.
Robeson County’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 87 on Saturday, with about a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms on Sunday and Monday, followed by sunshine on Tuesday.
Julia maintained tropical storm strength Thursday night after earlier weakening to a tropical depression, but forecasters said it would gradually lose steam again while meandering off the coast of the Carolinas.
The storm, which did not deliver the widespread flooding and torrential downpours that were feared earlier in the week, was expected to drift off the coast for the next couple of days, the National Hurricane Center said. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect.
Flood watches were dropped for the South Carolina coast earlier Thursday, although forecasters issued a small-craft advisory for waters near the shore and said there was a danger of rip currents along the coast through Thursday evening.
Street flooding that occurred around high tide late Wednesday closed a handful of downtown Charleston streets, but all had reopened by rush hour Thursday morning, and the pavement on major arteries leading into town was dry.
Many areas along the South Carolina coast saw more than 2 inches of rain during the storm on Wednesday, but nowhere near the 6 to 8 inches that had earlier been forecast.
Forecasters had issued flood watches, concerned about additional rains coming less than two weeks after Tropical Storm Hermine sloshed across the state.
Associated Press writer Bruce Smith contributed to this report.