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Tropical Storm Colin Takes Aim at the Carolinas

Tropical Storm Colin formed off the coast of South Carolina early Saturday morning, becoming the third storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season and threatening to saturate outdoor activities over the long weekend of July 4.

The storm, somewhat of a surprise, formed hours after Tropical Storm Bonnie made landfall in Nicaragua.

Colin was expected to take the weekend slowly through the Carolinas. At 5 a.m. east Saturday, it had maximum sustained winds near 40 mph and was just inland over South Carolina.

Forecasters warned that tropical storms were expected in South Carolina on Saturday morning and in North Carolina from Saturday morning through Sunday. Heavy rain was expected, with as much as ten centimeters in some places.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect from South Santee River, SC, to Duck, NC

It had been a quiet couple of weeks for the Atlantic, hurricane season, after Tropical Storm Alex formed on June 5 and passed through South Florida shortly after. Alex was the first named storm of what is expected to be an “above normal” hurricane season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. If that prediction comes true, 2022 would be the seventh consecutive year of an above-normal season.

This year, meteorologists predict that the season — which runs through November 30 — will produce 14 to 21 named storms. Six to ten of them are expected to become hurricanes, and up to six of them are expected to grow into major hurricanes, classified as Category 3 storms with winds of at least 111 mph

Last year there were 21 named storms, after a record 30 in 2020. For the past two years, meteorologists have exhausted the list of names used to identify storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, an event that has only occurred once, in 2005. .

The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming clearer every year. Data shows that hurricanes have become stronger worldwide over the past four decades. A warming planet can expect stronger hurricanes over time and a higher incidence of the most powerful storms – although the total number of storms could drop, as factors such as stronger wind shear can prevent the formation of weaker storms.

Hurricanes also get wetter due to more water vapor in the warmer atmosphere; scientists have suggested that storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced far more rain than they would have without the human effects on the climate. Also, rising sea levels contribute to higher storm surge — the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.

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