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Tropical Storm Bertha Forms Off SC Coast. Here’s What To Expect Today

Here she comes..

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Tropical Storm Bertha formed Wednesday morning along the South Carolina coast, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Bertha, located about 30 miles east-southeast of Charleston, packs maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, the NHC said in its 8:30 a.m. update. However, tropical-storm force winds can be expected up to 25 miles from the center of the system.

Bertha is creeping northwestward at a pace of 9 mph, and is set to make her way up to the midlands of South Carolina later today.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the South Carolina coast from Edisto Beach to South Santee River, the National Hurricane Center Said.

The biggest threat with Bertha is flash flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“Bertha is expected to produce total rain accumulation of 2 to 4 inches with isolated totals of 8 inches across eastern and central South Carolina into west central to far southeastern North Carolina and southwest Virginia, the NHC said Wednesday morning. “This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding.”

The tropical storm is expected to fizzle to a tropical depression as it moves inward later today.

Dangerous rip currents are also expected today along the South Carolina coast from the Lowcountry to the Grand Strand area, according to AccuWeather.

A brief, isolated tornado could also be in the cards for Charleston today, according to the National Weather Service, Charleston.

In the Midlands, a flash flood watch has already been issued for Orangeburg, Sumter, and Camden areas.

“The areas of greatest concern are the northeastern Midlands and Pee Dee,” National Weather Service – Columbia, South Carolina tweeted Wednesday morning.

In the Midlands, “the greatest threat for severe thunderstorms and heavy rainfall will occur from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” the NWS – Columbia said Wednesday morning.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Pee Dee looks like it will get the most rain from this system, with more than 2 inches expected today. Gusty winds are also expected in that area today.

“Gusty winds and periods of heavy rain are the primary threats from Georgetown to the SC-NC border,” Mark Malsick of the SC Climate Office wrote in his Wednesday morning update.

The Myrtle Beach area is expected to see about 3 to 4 inches of rain in the next three days.

And no folks — we’re not even in hurricane season yet, which officially begins June 1.

 Forecasters are calling for an active hurricane season, FITSNews Founding Editor Will Folks reported earlier this month.

“We anticipate that the 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have above-normal activity,” Colorado State University (CSU) forecasters projected in their latest report (.pdf). “We anticipate an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean.”

CSU forecasters are calling for 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes during the upcoming season – which runs from June 1 through November 30. The Earth System Science Center at Penn State University is calling for twenty storms this season – while The Weather Channel is projecting 18 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

Here’s your NWS forecast for Columbia this week:

  • Today: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Cloudy, with a high near 77. Northeast wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
  • Tonight:A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. Northeast wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
  • Thursday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 3pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
  • Thursday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 8pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. Light south wind. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
  • Friday: Showers and thunderstorms. High near 85. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
  • Friday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 68. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
  • Saturday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
  • Saturday Night: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 84.
  • Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 62.

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