Tropical storm forming in Atlantic cuts path toward South Carolina

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South Carolina Receives First Tropical Storm Warning Of 2016

May 28 (Reuters) - The first tropical storm to threaten the United States this year is expected to slam into the coast of South Carolina during the Memorial Day weekend, bringing heavy rain and strong winds, federal officials said on Saturday.

The system, a tropical depression, is forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm later in the day, at which time it will take the name Bonnie, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in a bulletin.

SEE ALSO: Unsettled Midwest, East expected for Memorial Day 2016

The center warned at 11 a.m. ET that within 24 hours tropical storm conditions could make landfall anywhere from the Savannah River north to the Little River Inlet along coastal South Carolina.

Tropical storms are defined as a cyclonic weather systems packing winds with sustained surface speeds ranging from 39 to 73 miles per hour (63 to 119 kilometers per hour).

Take a look back at the damage from Hurricane Alex:

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Hurricane Alex, rare January storm in the Atlantic Ocean
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Tropical storm forming in Atlantic cuts path toward South Carolina
This photo taken from video provided by NASA on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 shows Hurricane Alex seen from the International Space Station. The rare January hurricane in the Atlantic closed in on the Azores on Friday, with authorities in the Portuguese islands warning of waves up to 18 meters (60 feet) high, wind gusts up to 160 kph (100 mph) and torrential rain. (NASA via AP)
This image was taken by GOES East at 1445Z on January 14, 2016. Alex is not just the first named storm for the 2016 calendar year. It's also the first named storm to form in the Atlantic in January since 1978, the first January-born hurricane since 1938, and just the fourth known storm to arrive in the month since records began in 1851. (Photo via NOAA)
This NOAA satellite image taken Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 at 12:45 AM EST shows a stationary front over the southern Bahamas and Cuba. Rain showers and isolated accompany this boundary as it slowly drifts to the south. The remainder of the basin is quiet with mostly sunny skies. In contrast, Hurricane Alex is over the central Atlantic Basin. Alex has maximum winds of 80 miles per hour and will affect the Azores as it moves northward. (Weather Underground via AP)
Hurricane Alex in a satellite photo released by NOAA on Jan. 14, 2016. (Photo via NOAA)
This image of Subtropical Storm Alex was taken by the Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS instrument around 1455Z on January 13, 2016. (Photo via NOAA)
It is mid-January, and there is a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean https://t.co/fWG7GpMGNr https://t.co/DQJFTFLVa6
Rather stunning images of Hurricane Alex passing through the Azores on this, the 15th of January. https://t.co/kwqGz7vOq9
This is #HurricaneAlex - 1938 was the last time an Atlantic hurricane formed in January. https://t.co/kKwaVYV8Ev AJ https://t.co/FDcbNH97Ej
Today in doomsday signs: Hurricane Alex becomes the first January hurricane in almost 80 years: https://t.co/oBQb0yDHpK
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The system, now designated Tropical Depression Two, is carrying maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph), the bulletin said.

The system's forward speed is expected to slow on Saturday and Sunday as it nears the coast.

The formation of Bonnie will mark the second such weather system of 2016, following one that grew into Hurricane Alex in the far eastern Atlantic in January, according to the center.

Alex, a rare wintertime storm that threatened the Azores island group far off the coast of Portugal, never came near the United States.

The depression's center on Saturday morning was 195 miles (310 km) south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. The weather system is expected to produce one to three inches (3 to 8 cm) of rainfall along parts of the South Carolina coast.

Tidal storm surge flooding of one to two feet (30 to 60 cm) above ground level also is expected in the storm warning area, the Hurricane Center said.

U.S. meteorologists have predicted an increase in the number of named storms this hurricane season compared with below-average numbers during the past three years.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms in the upcoming hurricane season. By comparison, 11 named storms occurred in 2015, including four hurricanes, of which two were major, according to federal data.

Related: Also see the most deadly U.S. hurricanes ever:

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15 of the deadliest American hurricanes ever
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Tropical storm forming in Atlantic cuts path toward South Carolina

Hurricane Hugo, 1989: 21 deaths

Hurricane Hugo made landfall as a Category 4 storm in South Carolina. It caused 21 deaths in the US and resulted in $7.1 billion of damage. At the time, it was the costliest storm in US history.

Photo courtesy: Getty

Tropical Storm Allison, 2001: 41 deaths

While not an official hurricane, Allison clocks in as the costliest and deadliest tropical storm in US history, causing 41 deaths and costing more than $5 billion in damage. The storm started over the Gulf of Mexico near Texas, then traveled east, causing floods like the one pictured here in Houston, Texas.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Hurricane Irene, 2011: 56 deaths

Hurricane Irene, the first storm to hit the US since Ike three years earlier, made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm. The storm eventually made its way up to New York City, bringing flooding -- like the kind pictured here in Puerto Rico -- and causing $7.3 billion in damage overall.

Photo courtesy: AP

Hurricane Floyd, 1999: 57 deaths

Hurricane Floyd was a catastrophic storm because of the rain it brought along. The rain caused extreme flooding from North Carolina on up as the Category 2 storm traveled up the East Coast.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Great Atlantic Hurricane, 1944: 64 deaths

The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 was also devastating to New England, with 64 deaths and more than $100 million in damage. The storm was a Category 3 as it sped up the coast, hitting the Carolinas, Rhode Island, and Long Island before downgrading to a Category 2 in Maine.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Hurricane Agnes, 1972: 122 deaths

Hurricane Agnes, as seen in this image made it all the way inland to Pennsylvania. Although it was only a Category 1 storm (with winds from 74-95 mph), it still caused 122 deaths and caused $2.1 billion in damage.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Hurricane Ike, 2008: 195 deaths

The third costliest storm in US history, with $29.5 billion in damage, occurred in September 2008. Starting off the west coast of Africa, Hurricane Ike made its way over the Caribbean and into the Gulf, making US landfall in Texas as a Category 2 storm

Photo courtesy: Reuters

Hurricane Camille, 1969: 256 deaths

Hurricane Camille formed in the Gulf of Mexico and hit Mississippi as a Category 5 storm. Camille caused more than 256 deaths and clocks in as the second most intense hurricane to hit the US.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

New England, 1938: 256 deaths

Nicknamed "Long Island Express," the storm hit Puerto Rico as a Category 5 storm before charging north and hitting Long Island, New York and Connecticut as a Category 3 hurricane. The storm was responsible for more than 256 deaths.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Hurricane Sandy, 2012: 285 deaths

With $71.4 billion in damage, Hurricane Sandy was the second costliest hurricane in US history. The Category 1 storm pummeled New York City, flooding the city's transportation systems and leaving thousands of homes destroyed.

It's looking more and more like Hurricane Joaquin won't make landfall in the US and join the list of most horrific storms in US history.

Photo courtesy: AP

Hurricane Audrey, 1957: 416 deaths

The U.S. started naming storms with women's names starting in 1953. Hurricane Audrey, the first storm of the 1957 hurricane season was the deadliest of the 1950s. It originated in the Gulf of Mexico, making landfall in Texas as a Category 4 storm. This image of the storm shows just how far hurricane imaging has come.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Atlantic-Gulf, 1919: 600 to 900 deaths

This Category 4 storm swept into the Gulf of Mexico right under Key West, Florida(pictured), landing as a Category 3 storm in Corpus Christi, Texas. Anywhere from 600 to 900 people died in that storm.

Hurricane Katrina, 2005: 1,200 deaths

Hurricane Katrina is arguably the most notorious storm of the 21st century. The storm made landfall as a Category 5 near Miami before striking Louisiana as a Category 3 storm. Katrina was the third deadliest, and costliest hurricane in U.S. history with more than 1,200 deaths and $108 billion in damage.

Photo courtesy: Reuters

San Felipe Okeechobee, 1928: 2,500 deaths

This hurricane was the second deadliest in US history, with more than 2,500 deaths. The Category 4 storm made landfall in Palm Beach on September 10, 1928. Puerto Rico got hit hard as well, with winds at 144 mph.

Photo courtesy: NOAA

Galveston, Texas in 1900: 8,000 to 12,000 deaths

The deadliest hurricane in US history happened at the turn of the 20th century. The Category 4 of 5 hurricane -- with winds anywhere from 130-156 mph -- made landfall in Galveston, Texas (pictured), then headed north through the Great Plains. Anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 people died in the storm.

Photo courtesy: Creative Commons

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