Tropical storm Alberto forms off Carolinas' coast

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The hurricane season doesn't officially begin until June 1, but the first tropical storm of the season already has developed off the South Carolina coast.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami reports that Alberto was about 95 miles south-southeast of Charleston, S.C. at 8 a.m. Eastern time.

The storm has top winds of 50 mph, with higher gusts and tropical storm-force winds extending up to 70 miles from the center.

Forecasters do not expect the storm to strengthen or make landfall, but forecasters are warning people on the coast from Georgia to the North Carolina's Outer Banks to watch its progress. They say Alberto could produce high winds, heavy surf, rip currents and rain across the region. A tropical storm watch is in effect in South Carolina from the Savannah River to the South Santee River.

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