In a typical year — one where we know what day of the week it is and whether or not we should wear pants — a tropical storm forming off the coast would be big news.
Yet, here we are. Tropical Storm Bertha is currently just southeast of Charleston, S.C., and bearing straight at the gut of North Carolina. The storm is expected to bring between 2 and 3 inches of rain to Lee County beginning today.
Some of you are just now learning this (a bummer for those of you taking your beach vacation this week). But there’s a good reason for that.
Bertha formed as a “disturbance” in south Florida over the holiday weekend and strengthened as it moved north in the Atlantic. It reached tropical storm status only Tuesday night. Winds have sustained between 30 and 40 mph, with gusts over 50 mph.
Lee County is in the flood zone for the storm — some areas of the Carolinas could receive as much as 8 inches of rain, while our region will possibly see minor flooding. Rivers in the state are also expected to reach minor flood levels.
The official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1, so consider Bertha a tease to what the NOAA is predicting to be an “above-normal” season with a possible three to six “major hurricanes.”