First Tropical Storm Buffets Carolinas
Tropical storm Andrew, the first of the 1986 Atlantic hurricane season, swirled to life Friday and brought gale-force winds, heavy rains and five-foot waves to the Carolina coast.
The low-pressure trough started earlier this week as a range of thunderstorms and squalls that left 25 dead in the Caribbean as it gathered strength on its journey over the warm Atlantic waters.
Neil Frank, director of the National Hurricane Center in Coral Gables, Fla., said the tropical storm was mild and not a great threat to the Atlantic coast.
“It’s drifting toward the north,” he said. “If it nudges closer to the coast we’ll probably have to put up gale warnings along the Carolinas.”
Forecasters warned owners of small boats to stay in port in the Carolinas, saying waves of five feet to six feet were reported.
The storm was upgraded from a subtropical depression Friday when its winds reached 40 m.p.h. to become the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.