Tropical Storm Bertha forms off the South Carolina coast

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MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Bertha formed Wednesday morning off the coast of South Carolina, becoming the second named storm before the official start of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for South Carolina’s coast and the storm was expected to bring heavy rainfall, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Bertha’s maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph (75 kph) but it was expected to weaken to a tropical depression after moving inland. The storm was centered about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, and was moving northwest near 9 mph (15 kph).

Earlier this month, Tropical Storm Arthur brought rain to North Carolina before moving out to sea. It was the sixth straight year that a named storm has developed before June 1, the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season.

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