The tenth tropical system of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season formed late last night over land in northeast Florida.
As of 8 a.m. today, Tropical Storm Julia is 10 miles west of Brunswick, Georgia, containing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Forecasters expect heavy rain over the coming days in Georgia and South Carolina. The National Hurricane Center expects Julia to dissipate to a tropical depression later today.
Julia is the first tropical storm to form over land since 1988. It’s also the first to form over land in Florida. Forecasters say the center of circulation was close enough to the ocean to garner strength to become a tropical storm.
It’s also possible that Julia could have strengthened from the moist land, but Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a University of Georgia meteorology professor, tweeted that such a theory — dubbed the “brown ocean effect” — is currently “too speculative.”
According to a NASA article, the brown ocean effect occurs when a storm derives its energy from the evaporation of abundant soil moisture, not from the warm ocean.
Tropical Storm Erin in 2007 intensified as it moved through Florida and formed an eye over Oklahoma, growing stronger over land than it was over the ocean, according to the article.
Hurricane season peaked on Saturday, the day when tropical system activity is most likely to be occurring in the Atlantic basin due to favorable conditions (warm sea surface temperatures, moist air, and low wind shear), according to NOAA.
With over two months left in the current hurricane season, forecasters advise coastal residents to have a plan should a tropical system threaten or strike.
The 2016 hurricane season ends on Nov. 30.