Tropical Storm Julia, an oddity that developed over land rather than water, slogged out of Northeast Florida Wednesday morning and began dumping what is expected to be a significant amount of rain on Georgia and North Carolina.
An 8 a.m. bulletin from the National Hurricane Center said Julia, which formed just north of Jacksonsville Tuesday night, has moved to a location about 10 miles west of Brunswick, Georgia and continues heading north at about 7 miles an hour. Though it brought heavy rains to the Jacksonville area throughout the night, there was little apparent damage.
Tropical storms rarely form over land -- and it’s never happened before in Florida’s recorded meteorological history. The last land-birthed tropical storm in the United States was 1988’s Beryl, which took shape over Southeast Louisiana. During a brutal five-day march across the state and up into North Texas, it did $3 million in damage and claimed one life before dissolving into minor rainstorms in Oklahoma.
Nothing quite so rancorous is expected from Julia. The National Hurricane Center expects its 40 mph winds to lessen through Wednesday as the storm weakens into a tropical depression. The storm is expected to dump three to six inches of rain along the Georgia and South Carolina coastlines, with some areas getting as much as 10 inches.
That could trigger flash floods. And Julia could also spin off a tornado in coastal Georgia and the southern edge of South Carolina, the center warned.