Beachgoers along the Grand Strand should follow safety precautions as Tropical Storm Danny formed Monday afternoon off the Charleston coast and is expected to impact the area, officials warn.
Danny became a tropical depression late Monday morning before reaching tropical storm status just after 3 p.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.
While the storm is expected to make landfall near Charleston, officials at the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, are heeding warnings to beachgoers about dangerous ocean conditions as Danny nears.
“The main thing we are looking at is really rough surf and rip currents are our main concern [Monday],” Jordan Baker, NWS forecaster, said.
Baker said the NWS has a high risk for rip currents from Sumter Beach, North Carolina, down to Charleston.
All Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island beaches are listed to have a high risk of rip current impacts, according to the NWS. At noon Monday, the city of Myrtle Beach put out double red flags, prohibiting swimming in the ocean. In a Facebook post, the Myrtle Beach Fire Department said the double red flags were flown due to TD4 causing dangerous surf zone conditions.
“The currents have been relatively rough over the past couple of days and they’ll only get rougher throughout the next day or two,” Myrtle Beach fire spokesperson Capt. Jonathan Evans said.
Evans said that while the department doesn’t like to issue double red flag warnings, they do it for the safety of the public.
“If they want to walk in the water ankle deep, that’s fine,” Evans said. “We just don’t want anyone getting in the water, especially small kids because it is very rough and the tides can change very quickly.”
Evans said the double red flag warning will be lifted once officials deem the water and currents to be safe for beachgoers.
Despite the area seeing a few downpours throughout the day Monday, rain chances are expected to drop to 20% Monday night with rain chances remaining at or below 30% until Thursday night. Baker said there are no chances of flooding, adding the showers may be heavy at times but not enough to anticipate any flooding.
The Grand Strand is forecast to receive the most rain during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Chances for a shower or thunderstorm will be at 50% Friday night and reach to 60% Saturday before dropping to 40% by Saturday night and into Sunday.
Baker said that the rain coming into the Grand Strand later this week and upcoming holiday weekend is from a different system coming from the north and not linked to the newly formed Tropical Storm.
“This weekend is just a separate cold front,” Baker said. “The depression is going to hit the shore, dissipate and then go out to the northeast Tuesday but then this weekend we get a cold front that comes down through the mountains of North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee and that’s going to provide quite a bit of rain chances over the weekend, unfortunately. It’ll be wet the whole time.”
Along with the wet weather, there will also be warm temperatures throughout the week. According to the NWS, the highs are set to reach the mid-80s and the lows are set to be in the mid-to-upper-70s.