WILMINGTON — Tropical Storm Bertha is the second named storm this year that has formed before the official start to Hurricane Season (which begins June 1). Although the storm is not expected to track all the way up to the Cape Fear region, heavy rain and possibly strong storms are expected in the area.
The storm, as of 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday was located about 30 miles east-southeast of Charleston, S.C.
“Bertha is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue through tonight. On the forecast track the center of Bertha will move onshore in the warning area in the next few hours and the move inland across eastern and northern South Carolina later today and into west-central North Carolina by tonight,” according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
While the Cape Fear Region is not under any sort of tropical storm advisory, impacts will be felt in the area.
“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. This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding,” according to the NHC
There is a coastal advisory in effect for the region as strong rip currents are expected until late this evening in coastal Pender and New Hanover Counties.
“In addition, moderate to heavy rain could lead to localized minor flooding today. There is also a marginal risk for severe storms, with the main threats being damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes,” according to the National Weather Service.