Hurricane season does not technically begin until next week, but a tropical storm warning has been issued for the South Carolina coast in anticipation of the summer’s likely first major named storm in the Atlantic.
The National Hurricane Center issued the warning Friday for the entire South Carolina coast. A warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere in the warning area within 36 hours. The storm is centered about 435 miles southeast of Charleston.
At this point, forecasters are only referring to the storm as “Tropical Depression Two,” but say they consider it likely the depression will strengthen to a tropical storm Saturday morning. If so, it will be designated Tropical Storm Bonnie.
The storm’s effects could reach the coast Saturday night. About 2 to 4 inches of rain is expected to fall over parts of South Carolina, with the current forecasted path approaching the Beaufort/Hilton Head area on Sunday.
The formal start to hurricane season is June 1. If Two strengthens to a tropical storm, it would be the year’s second named storm. The first was a rare January storm in Hurricane Alex that stayed far out to sea.