The first tropical storm of the 2012 season formed late Saturday afternoon. While it's not unusual to have tropical storms like Alberto form before the beginning of the season, it is a reminder that it's never to early to start assembling your hurricane preparedness kit. If you've change your residence, it's also a good time to review evacuation routes and put together a family plan to deal with the threat of a tropical cyclone.
Right now South Carolina is under a tropical storm watch due to the high winds and turbulent seas. Most Carolina residents were not expecting to deal with a tropical cyclone so early in the year. Dangerous rip tides and high surf will lead to dangerous conditions along a stretch of beautiful beaches just South of Myrtle Beach.
The storm with top winds of 50 mph will be slow to strengthen under less than ideal atmospheric conditions. Although the water temperatures near the continental shelf are warm, they are not warm enough to sustain a full fledged hurricane.
As the storm moves southwest Sunday it will gather momentum near the coast. By Monday a trough with southwesterly steering currents will push the cyclone back out to sea. From here the storm will progressively move into cooler Atlantic waters and weaken by mid-week. Stay alert and stay informed on KHOU.com.