The first tropical storm of the 2012 hurricane season formed off South Carolina’s shore over the weekend, ushering in an early beginning to this year’s hurricane season. A ship near the storm’s center reported that the storm, called Alberto has wind speeds of about about 60 miles per hour which is about 15 miles per hour stronger than what the National Hurricane Center predicted earlier.
Saturday evening, the storm was over 100 miles offshore and was on a southwesterly path, moving slowly at about 3 miles per hour. It is expected to keep on that path over the next few days and is not predicted to come close to the coastline of the Carolina’s. However, Alberto will kick up some high waves on beaches as well as be responsible for some substantial rip currents along the outer banks of North Carolina. It is expected to register winds at about 24 miles per hour at it’s nearest approach to the Carolina’s. Alberto also is expected to produce a few isolated and scattered rain showers along the coastline early this week.
The National Hurricane Center says that it may post tropical storm watches for portions of the Carolina’s later this week as the storm gains strength. June 1st is the official start of the 2012 hurricane season but Alberto is showing us that the season can start earlier as it formed two weeks ahead of the official season.
Surfers headed to Charleston, SC beaches on Sunday to take advantage of some impressive waves produced by Alberto. Boaters and swimmers were warned to be extra careful as the rip currents can easily and very quickly sweep vessels to shore and swimmers off course.
The early arrival of the 2012 Pacific hurricane season is a good time to remind people who live in hurricane prone areas to prepare. While there is never a convenient time for a hurricane or a convenient time to get ready, it is necessary to have a disaster plan ready in case a storm is imminent. Now is a good time to make a shopping list consisting of batteries, battery-powered light sources such as lanterns and flashlights, bottled water, transistor radios, first aid kits, fire extinguishers and portable generators.