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5 NC counties are under alert, including Johnston County. Details
Published: 2015-05-07 18:35:00
Updated: 2015-05-08 05:33:19
Posted May 7, 2015 6:35 p.m. EDT
Updated May 8, 2015 5:33 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Ana, a storm that has been churning off the East Coast for several days, became the first named storm of the 2015 Atlantic season, according to the National Hurricane Center.
In an update released at 11:00 p.m. Thursday, forecasters said the subtropical storm was located about 170 miles southeast of Myrtle Beach, with maximum sustained winds near 45 mph. A tropical storm watch was in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to Cape Lookout.
As the storm does continue to intensify, it's expected to "wander" off the coast of South Carolina through at least Sunday before picking up speed late Sunday and Monday, WRAL Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.
"Futurecast shows the center drifting westward very slowly over the next few days and it probability will be later in the weekend before it begins to make some northward progress," he said. "There is still a great deal of uncertainty with this storm."
Locally, the storm will bring more clouds than rain to the Triangle, at least on Friday and Saturday.
Southern coastal areas could see up to four inches of rain, while the Triangle could see less than a half an inch of rain.
"Locally, we're going to see increased rain chances and possibly some gusty winds, but we're going to watch to watch this system very closely," Fishel said.
The weekend will be cloudy and possibly rainy, but it won't be a washout as temperatures remain in the low-to mid-80s.
"We could see a few scattered showers on Friday, but this will not be a day-long washout," Fishel said. "If we see rain here in central North Carolina it will most likely be on Sunday and Monday."
Mother's Day should be variably cloudy with highs in the low 80s.
Unsettled weather will linger across the central part of the state through at least Tuesday, however.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. In the eastern Pacific, it begins May 15 and ends Nov. 30.