Ana Comes Ashore in South Carolina

First Storm of Atlantic Season Lashes Carolinas

Coming ashore a bit ahead of schedule, Tropical Storm Ana moved inland between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina just after sunrise on Sunday morning.  The storm, which became a tropical storm on Saturday after being a subtropical storm since Thursday, weakened somewhat in the six hours prior to landfall.  Winds had slackened from 60 mph at 11:00 PM on Saturday night to 45 mph at the time of landfall.

Nevertheless, the storm still packed a wallop for the Carolinas.  The storm brought a swath of moisture in from the Atlantic that extended from Northeastern South Carolina all the way to the capital of Raleigh in North Carolina.  Ana brought a harsh combination of wind and rain, and even one of its outer bands produced a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in the area of Raleigh during the afternoon on Sunday.  Now that it has moved inland though, the storm has begun to wind down after being cut off from its energy source of the warm ocean water.

As of the 5:00 PM Advisory from the National Hurricane Center, which was the last one issued on the storm by the NHC, Ana was located some 10 miles to the North-Northeast of Whiteville, North Carolina.  What was left of the storm was moving to the North-Northeast at 8 miles per hour, which is almost three times faster than it was moving late yesterday afternoon.  Tropical Depression Ana has also turned to the right a bit, and expect that to continue as it feels the effects of a storm system moving in from the middle of the country.

Maximum sustained winds as of a few hours ago were down to only 35 mph, and they are probably even lesser now.   Barometric pressure has risen to 1007 millibars, or 29.74 inches of Hg.  The big story with this system will continue to be the rain as the storm continues to unleash tremendous amounts of moisture as it heads to the Northeast.  Rainfall amounts are expected to range anywhere from 2 to 4 inches with isolated areas in Eastern North Carolina and Northeastern South Carolina possibly receiving as much as 6 inches, which will cause the Tar and Neuse Rivers to swell, and spill over their banks.

Ana’s effects are already being felt in other parts of the Mid-Atlantic.  Humidity has been on the rise, and skies have been unsettled as far north as New Jersey.  The temperature climbed up to 84 degrees at GWC in South Plainfield, but the dew point soared to just under 71 degrees.  With the storm system from the west also approaching, showers and storms have been firing up in portions of Pennsylvania and Southern New York.  The storm system to the west has been responsible for producing severe weather throughout the Plains.  From severe thunderstorms and tornadoes in Texas to Blizzard conditions in South Dakota.

As these two storm systems approach the Garden State as well as the rest of the Mid-Atlantic, expect conditions to become more unstable.  The National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey is giving a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms developing during the afternoon and evening in Central Jersey.  Tuesday also has a similar probability of thunderstorm development.  As of now though, no hazardous weather outlooks or weather watches have been issued, but that may change as we get into Monday.  We have yet to officially begin the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season, but we have already seen a landfalling system in the United States.  Could this be a harbinger of things to come?  Only time will tell.