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Early Storm Watch: Ana Approaches

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TROPICAL SYSTEM HEADS TOWARD PALMETTO COAST

|| By FITSNEWS || That system of low pressure off the Florida coast? Guess what … it’s now a tropical storm moving up the Georgia coast. A named storm, at that … the first named system of the 2015 hurricane season.

That was quick, right?

As of 5:00 a.m. EDT, subtropical storm Ana was positioned approximately 160 miles south-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour.  The storm was moving north-northwest at one mile per hour.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Atlantic coast from Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to Cape Lookout, North Carolina, although (good news alert) Ana is not expected to organize or intensify prior to its center of circulation coming ashore sometime on Sunday.

In other words the storm is likely to bring rain and some decent waves for surfers … as opposed to damaging winds and flooding.

South Carolina has seen 23 hurricane landfalls since 1893 – the most infamous being Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Fortunately the state has avoided any direct hits from major storms since then, although there have been several close calls – including Hurricane Irene in 2011.

The record for the most named storms in a given hurricane season – which technically runs from June 1 through the end of October (with a September 10 peak) – is twenty-five (set in 2005).  The record for the fewest named storms?  Four – in 1983.

Experts have predicted a quiet 2015 season, with seven named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane.

Ana isn’t the first early storm.  A pair of tropical systems – Alberto and Beryl – formed in 2012, with Beryl becoming the strongest off-season Atlantic storm to make landfall in the United States.  In 2007, Andrea formed off the coast of Florida – claiming five lives.  She isn’t even the earliest system to bear her name, as a 2003 storm named Ana formed in April 2003.

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