The Atlantic’s second storm of 2020 made landfall just east of Charleston, South Carolina, with the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season still almost a week away.
Tropical Storm Bertha, with top winds of 50 miles per hour (81 kilometers per hour), was moving northwest over land at about 9 mph, threatening to bring heavy rains across the Carolinas and into Virginia, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
“Bertha is expected to weaken to a tropical depression after moving inland and become a remnant low tonight,” the center said in an advisory.
The heavy rains of the next 24 hours will probably delay further cotton plantings in North and South Carolina, which are already running behind last year’s pace, Donald Keeney, agricultural meteorologist with Maxar, said in a telephone interview from Gaithersburg, Maryland.
This is the record sixth year in a row Atlantic storms have formed before the official June 1 start of the season.
Last week, Tropical Storm Arthur formed off the U.S. East Coast before veering out to sea causing little damage. Most pre-season forecasts call for an over-active Atlantic season surpassing the long-term average of 12 systems.
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