Bertha weakens into tropical depression hours after South Carolina landfall

Tropical Storm Bertha made landfall in South Carolina early Wednesday but now has weakened into a tropical depression.

According to the National Hurricane Center, radar imagery indicates that the area of disturbed weather became significantly better organized Wednesday morning.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the coast of South Carolina from Edisto Beach to South Santee River.

As of 2 p.m., Bertha has weakened to a tropical depression with sustained winds of 35 mph.

2020 hurricane season: This year's storm name list

Recent data from NOAA and CORMP buoys show that maximum sustained winds increased to near 50 mph before landfall.

The center of Bertha continued to travel in the warning area over the past few hours and now will move inland across eastern and northern South Carolina later Wednesday and into west-central North Carolina by Wednesday night.

2020 Atlantic hurricane season forecast calls for 'above-normal' tropical activity
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Though coronavirus is in the spotlight right now, it would be handy to remember that we are nearly two months out from the 2020 Atlantic season.

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 rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding.

The main threat in North Carolina will be heavy rain. The possibility of an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

Hurricane Season doesn't officially begin until June 1.

It's rare to have two named storms prior to May 27. Since 1851, only 4 other years (1887, 1908, 1951 and 2012) had two named storms before the start of the season.
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