First tropical storm of season forms off U.S. east coast
Alberto was the earliest tropical storm to form in the Atlantic since 2003, and the first to form before the official start of hurricane season.
Sat, May 19, 2012 at 05:49 PM
STORM TRACKERS: The entrance to the NOAA's National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. (Photo: Joe Raedle/AFP)
WASHINGTON — The first tropical storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season formed on May 19 off the southeastern U.S. coast with winds of 45 miles (75 kilometers) per hour, U.S. weather forecasters said.
Dubbed "Alberto," the storm was 140 miles (225 kilometers) southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, moving southwest at a speed of three miles (six kilometers) per hour, the National Hurricane Center.
It posed no immediate threat to land.
"Maximum sustained winds are near 45 miles (75 kilometers) per hour with higher gusts," it said.
Alberto was the earliest tropical storm to form in the Atlantic since 2003, and it was the first time one has formed before the official start of the hurricane season in both the Atlantic and east Pacific basins.
The hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, usually peaking in August or September.
The first tropical storm of the season in the Pacific formed on May 15 off the coast of Mexico.
Copyright 2012 AFP American Edition