Tropical Storm Bertha forms off the coast of South Carolinaby Associated Press
MIAMI — Tropical Storm Bertha formed Wednesday morning off the coast of South Carolina, becoming the second named storm before the official start of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for South Carolina’s coast and the storm was expected to bring heavy rainfall, the US National Hurricane Center said.
Bertha’s maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph (75 kph) but it was expected to weaken to a tropical depression after moving inland. The storm was centered about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina and was moving northwest near 9 mph (15 kph).
Earlier this month, Tropical Storm Arthur brought rain to North Carolina before moving out to sea. It was the sixth straight year that a named storm has developed before June 1, the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season.
The last time there were two named storms before June was in 2016, according to Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist with Colorado State University’s atmospheric science department. It also happened in 1887, 1908, 1951 and 2012, he said.
“Most of these early season named storms form, at least in part, from non-tropical or subtropical processes and don’t necessarily imply anything about the remainder of the season,” Klotzbach said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.