The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season formed off the South Carolina coast on Thursday — nearly a month before the season officially begins.
Subtropical storm Ana was located 170 miles south-southeast of Myrtle Beach, with maximum sustained winds near 45 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm was moving north-northwest at about 2 mph.
A tropical storm watch was in effect late Thursday for Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to Cape Lookout, North Carolina. A watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible on this stretch of coast within 48 hours. The system is expected to deliver 2 to 4 inches of rain over eastern areas of both Carolinas over the weekend, and was already creating heavy surf and swells.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. In the eastern Pacific, it begins May 15 and ends Nov. 30.