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Fox News Weather Center

Subtropical Storm Ana kicks off early start to Atlantic hurricane season

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May 8, 2015: This NOAA satellite image shows subtropical storm Ana along the South Carolina coast producing scattered thunderstorms off shore with rain showers along the coast from North Carolina to Florida. (AP)

The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season is drifting toward the U.S. southeastern coast Friday after forming nearly a month before the season officially begins.

Subtropical Storm Ana's maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with slight strengthening forecast during the next day or so.

The storm is centered about 160 miles south-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and is moving north-northwest near 1 mph.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to Cape Lookout, North Carolina. The system is expected to deliver 2 to 4 inches of rain over eastern areas of both Carolinas over the weekend, and is already creating heavy surf and swells.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.