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Atlantic’s First Tropical System Comes Thirteen Days Early

Posted by Lars Anderson, Director of Public Affairs, FEMA

Extreme (and not so extreme) swings in the weather occur all the time. We often experience warm days in the winter and cold days in the summer.  So I guess we shouldn’t be all that surprised when Mother Nature decides to launch her first tropical storm thirteen days in advance of the scheduled start of hurricane season (June 1).

Yesterday gave up the first tropical system for the Atlantic season with the formation of Tropical Storm Alberto off the South Carolina Coast.

As of this afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center, the center of the storm is located 90 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina and is moving toward the west-southwest at near 6 mph.  Alberto is expected to slow down and move little through Monday, and after that it is expected to make a northeastward acceleration Monday night and Tuesday. On this track, the center of Alberto is forecast to remain offshore of the Carolina and Georgia coasts.

This early storm formation should encourage coastal residents in Georgia and the Carolinas to monitor weather conditions and take steps now to get prepared for potential severe weather.  Tropical waves or tropical storms can bring heavy rains and high winds, so it’s important that you take steps to prepare your property and family.

In fact, all those who live in hurricane prone areas should heed this early storm as a sign to be prepared for the season. Visit Ready.gov/hurricanes (Listo.gov para español) to learn how to prepare your home and family for a hurricane or tropical storm.

Tropical Storm and Hurricane Preparedness and Safety Tips:

  • Now is the time to be prepared if you live in a coastal area or could be affected by severe weather.  Build your own emergency supply kit—personalized with the non-perishable foods you like, your medications, personal documents.
  • Visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov for tips on creating your family emergency plan and putting together an emergency supply kit.
  • Monitor local radio and television news outlets or listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest developments. Your local National Weather Service forecast office is the best place to find information about the weather that may affect your area, so check your local forecast at www.weather.gov or on your phone at mobile.weather.gov.
As we continue to closely monitor Tropical Storm Alberto, everyone should get familiar with the terms that are used to identify a severe weather hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a tropical storm watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe severe tropical weather include the following:
  • A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible, in this case within 24 hours.
  • A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.
  • A Hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.
  • A Hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.
With this early development of the first tropical system, FEMA is taking our part seriously as we monitor developments through our regional office in Atlanta, Ga.  We encourage residents to do the same.  After all, as she has proven once again, and as the saying goes…”It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.”
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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