Tropical Storm Bertha makes landfall in South Carolina


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Tropical Storm Bertha intensified quickly from a tropical disturbance Wednesday morning, making landfall at 9:30 a.m. along the coast of South Carolina about 20 miles east of Charleston.

Maximum sustained winds of 50 mph were reported by the National Hurricane Center as the storm moved slowly inland. Bertha gradually weakened moving away from the Atlantic warmth and was downgraded to a tropical depression about 70 miles north of Charleston by the NHC at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been predicted to be busy due to abnormally water and weak vertical wind shear.

Bertha was named only an hour before it struck the coast, after having been given only a 30 percent chance of growing into a tropical storm. A northwest trajectory took Bertha north-northwest through central North Carolina ad western Virginia. Early Thursday, the remnants of Tropical Depression Bertha passed over eastern Ohio. The storm brought gusty winds and heavy rain, totaling two to four inches in parts of the Carolinas.

Bertha grew out of a tropical disturbance that hovered off the coast of South Florida on Memorial Day, dumping 7.27 inches fell on May 25-26 in Miami, followed by another 7.40 inches on May 26, which raised the monthly rainfall to nearly 19 inches, setting a record for May.

Short-lived Bertha is the second tropical storm of the season in the Atlantic. Arthur brushed the Outer Banks of North Carolina around May 16. Hurricane researcher Philip Klotzbach reported that this is only the sixth time since 1851 that two named Atlantic storms have occurred before the official start of the hurricane season on June 1, most recently in 2016, 2012 and 1951.

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