The U.S. National Weather Service issued a public advisory Sunday morning stating that Tropical Storm Ana is likely to be downgraded to a tropical depression by early afternoon. The first Atlantic storm of the year lost strength as it made contact with the South Carolina coast early Sunday morning. But the area is by no means out of the woods.
A tropical storm warning is still in effect for Little River Inlet, South Carolina, to Surf City, North Carolina. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the center of the storm, the weather service said.
The advisory, from the service’s National Hurricane Center in Miami, said the storm was about 30 miles north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles her hour. The service said the storm was moving north at 5 miles per hour.
As of 11 a.m. EDT, the eye of the storm was located near latitude 34.1 north and longitude 78.9, the weather center said. The center said tropical storm conditions are expected within parts of the warning area and will be for the next few hours.
Ana is causing flooding in normally dry areas. During high tide, water could reach one to two feet above ground at times in costal areas from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, southward to South Carolina. Two to four inches of rainfall could accumulate in some areas, with a maximum of six inches over parts of eastern North Carolina and northeast South Carolina, the weather service said.
Surfers are warned that Ana could generate life-threatening rip currents through portions of the southeastern U.S. coast. The weather service is also urging interests elsewhere in eastern North Carolina and Virginia to monitor Ana’s progress.
Ana transitioned to a tropical storm on Saturday as it made its way slowly toward the Carolina’s, Reuters reported. It’s the first named storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.
Read the weather service’s full public advisory here.