Tropical Storm Bonnie forms

    Tropical Storm Bonnie. (Image: NOAA)

    Tropical Storm Bonnie. (Image: NOAA)

    Tropical Storm Bonnie, the second named tropical system of 2016, has formed. 

    At 5:00 p.m. today, Bonnie is located in the Atlantic Ocean about 120 miles southeast of Beaufort, South Carolina, packing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and higher gusts, according to a National Hurricane Center bulletin. 

    The tropical storm is currently moving northwest at 10 miles per hour, the bulletin states. 

    According to the latest National Hurricane Center forecast track, Bonnie is expected to retain its tropical storm status as it makes landfall tomorrow morning in South Carolina, weakening to a tropical depression as it slowly crawls along the coastal portions of the Carolinas through Thursday. 

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    The primary threat in the southeast is locally heavy rainfall, according to the bulletin. 

    Moisture associated with the tropical system will move into the New Jersey region later tomorrow, with rain heavy at times through Monday, a National Weather Service Hazardous Weather Outlook advises. 

    The 2016 Atlantic basin hurricane season begins on June 1 and continues through November 30. The season began before the official date with the formation of Hurricane Alex in January. The upcoming names include Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, and Fiona.

    report issued by Colorado State University in April anticipates 12 named storms, including six hurricanes and two major hurricanes, or cyclones that reach Category 3 strength or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is “near average” activity. 

    The season peaks in September, and 80 percent of named storms between 1981 and 2010 have formed between August and October, according to The Weather Channel. 

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