Ana weakens to tropical depression

Posted May 10, 2015

— Ana was downgraded to a tropical depression Sunday afternoon as the weakening system continued moving into North Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center discontinued all tropical storm warnings at 2 p.m.

Ana, the first named storm of 2015, formed nearly a month before the Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1. After meandering off the Carolinas for several days, reaching maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, Ana made landfall about 6 a.m. Sunday near Myrtle Beach, S.C.

By the time the center of circulation came ashore, winds were down to 45 mph. At 5 p.m., the storm was centered about 95 miles south of Raleigh with winds of 35 mph.

No injuries or major property damage were reported with the storm, which simply didn’t have enough energy to cause a big impact.

“It’s what has been expected in terms of it being a weak tropical storm,” WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss said. “It didn’t have enough time to move across warm waters to intensify.”

As Ana moves across North Carolina and into Virginia over the next 24 hours, it will become more disorganized. Residents in the Triangle can expect showers, light winds and generally humid conditions. Up to a half-inch of rain could fall in the region.

“The storm is very compact, so most of the rain associated with it is right around the center of the circulation and not widespread,” WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Moss agreed.

“For us, it’s just going to be breezy through the afternoon,” he said. “We can’t rule out a couple of brief, heavy downpours, but not everybody will get that.”

Heavier rain and the possibility of flash flooding is on tap for coastal regions, where up to 4 inches of rain could fall before Ana clears out. Isolated tornadoes are possible in the southern coastal counties as the storm fades.

Sunshine will return to the Triangle by Tuesday, when the high is expected to hit 90 degrees.


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