The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said that Bertha, now a tropical depression, is about 65 miles north-northwest of Charleston, S.C. As of 2:00 p.m. EDT, the storm was moving north-northwest at 15 mph after making landfall along the South Carolina coast as a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds now down to 35 mph.
Bertha was officially named a tropical storm after becoming much better organized overnight and Wednesday morning. The tropical disturbance brought flooding rains to Florida earlier this week.
The tropical storm moved onshore near Charleston by 9:30 a.m. EDT, nearly two hours after forecasters announced the storm formed. A tropical storm warning was in effect for the coast of South Carolina, from Edisto Beach to South Santee River.
"South Carolina is going to get a lot of rain," Dean said. "A lot of heavy rainfall and the potential for thunderstorms."
After moving onshore, it will move inland across eastern and northern South Carolina later Wednesday, and into west-central North Carolina by nighttime.
"Bertha is expected to weaken to a tropical depression after moving inland and become a remnant low tonight," the NHC said.
Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center of the storm.
Bertha is forecast to produce total rail accumulation of 2 to 4 inches.
Isolated amounts of 8 inches of rain are possible across eastern and central South Carolina into west-central to far southeastern North Carolina, and southwest Virginia.
"Heavy rainfall will be the biggest threat, along with tropical storm-force winds along portions of the South Carolina coast," the NHC said.
In fact, the first named storm of the season has been in May every year since 2015.
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Bertha is the second named storm of what is expected to be a busy hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters are calling for 13 to 19 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher; of those, six to 10 could become hurricanes. Among those hurricanes, three to six will be major, classified as Category 3, 4, and 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher.
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season will include the names: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.