Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tropical Storm Alberto Forms Off Carolinas, Two Weeks Before Start of Storm Season

Tropical Storm Alberto has formed quickly off the coast of the Carolinas...almost two weeks before the official start of Hurricane/Tropical Storm season in the US.

The storm is not expected to make landfall on the Carolina coast, but it has prompted a tropical storm warning and forecasters are advising that it could produce high winds, heavy surf, rip currents and scattered torrential rain and flash flooding across the region. Alberto is the first storm of its kind to form in a hurricane season that doesn't officially start until June 1.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reported at 8 a.m. EDT Sunday that TS Alberto, which formed in the Atlantic early on Saturday, was approximately 95 miles (153 km) south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, with higher gusts being reported, and was moving west-southwest at about 6 mph. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center of the storm.

Alberto is not forecast to strengthen over the next 24 hours, but the National Hurricane Center is advising  people on the coast from Georgia to North Carolina's Outer Banks to monitor the news for the storm's progress and to be prepared with emergency supplies as a precaution. A tropical storm watch is in effect on that Georgia's coast from Savannah River to the South Santee River.

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