Tropical Storm Bertha forms off SC coast

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A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect along the Carolina coast and a flash flood watch is in effect in the Charlotte area as heavy rain is expected.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the coast of South Carolina as system off the coast formed into Tropical Storm Bertha Wednesday morning.

At 8:30 a.m. the center of Tropical Storm Bertha was located about 30 miles east southeast of Charleston, SC moving toward the northwest near 9 mph.

Bertha will move onshore in the warning area in the next few hours, according to the National Hurricane Center, and move inland across eastern and northern South Carolina later today and into west-central North Carolina by tonight. 

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Bertha is expected to weaken to a tropical depression after moving inland and become a remnant low tonight. 

Bertha is expected to produce total rain accumulation of 2 to 4 inches with isolated totals of 8 inches across eastern and central South Carolina into west central to far southeastern North Carolina and southwest Virginia.  This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect from Noon Wednesday through late into the evening for Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.  A round of moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to develop this afternoon, spreading in south to north from the Charlotte metro area to Northwest Piedmont. 

“The Charlotte area will be mainly cloudy with most of the heavy rainfall in the afternoon into the evening. Temperatures today in the low to mid 70s,” said Larry Sprinkle of the First Warn Storm team.

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Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are possible in a fairly short period of time, with locally higher amounts possible. This rainfall will combine with already nearly saturated soils to cause rapid stream rises and threat of flash flooding. 

A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Download the WCNC app to be alerted of weather watches and warnings in your area.