Heavy rain predicted for the Carolinas later in the week
A weather system that could become Tropical Storm Alberto is forming off the coast of Florida and it's going to bring heavy rain to the Carolinas.
On May 14, National Hurricane Center initially gave the system a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone from May 14-19. But as of Wednsday, the chance had dropped to zero.
The weather system, which was originally named Invest 90L by the hurricane center, is a broad surface low and trough that is interacting with an upper-level low producing an extended area of clouds, rain and thunderstorms from the eastern Gulf of Mexico across much of southern Florida.
Computer models show the storm just skirting the Carolinas' western borders as it moves through Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and further north.
Most of North Carolina — including the coast, the Triangle and Charlotte areas — should expect at least a chance of thunderstorms beginning Monday evening through the week and weekend to at least Sunday, according to the National Weather Service on May 16. Storms become most likely beginning Wednesday.
The weather service issued a hazardous weather outlook for some areas across the state, for localized heavy rain that may produce minor flooding into next week.
A moderate risk of rip currents also was in effect for the North Carolina coast through Wednesday evening.
High winds were not expected as part of those storms as of the forecasts available on Monday.
Rainfall totals could reach 2 to 4 inches by the end of the week, with localized higher amounts.
Highs are expected in the low- to mid-80s with lows in the upper 60s all week.
Most of South Carolina — including the Columbia area and the coast — should expect a chance of storms beginning Monday evening with storms becoming more likely on Wednesday and extending through Sunday.
Heavier rain is expected in South Carolina, with a quarter to half an inch possible Tuesday, Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms were expected through Thursday across the state, with potential for cloud-to-ground lightning, gusty winds and small hail.
Slow-moving storms could cause excessive rain and flash flooding.
A tropical storm is a weather system with an organized, circular wind flow and maximum sustained winds between 39 and 73 mph.
If the system becomes Tropical Storm Alberto, it will be the first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, which doesn't officially begin until June 1. Hurricane season runs through November.
The National Weather Service warned that storm surge and large waves from tropical cyclones pose the greatest threat to life and property along the coast.
Storm surge is water pushed toward the shore by wind swirling around the storm.
Storm tide is the water level rise due to storm surge and the astronomical tide, which can cause flooding.