The East Coast of the US is bracing for one of the first tropical storms of the hurricane season to wreck havoc. Tropical Storm Colin has prompted warnings and watches in southeastern US as its barrels towards the Florida coast.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the cyclone is approximately 450 miles southwest of Tampa, Florida and is moving north at 9mph. Tropical Storm Colin has maximum sustained winds of 40 mphs. It reaches the coast of Florida on Monday (6 June).
There is a tropical storm warning from Altamaha Sound, Georgia to the Flagler/Volusia County Line in Florida as well as one south of the county line to Sebastian Inlet, Florida. The NHC issued a storm watch north of Altamaha Sound, Georgia to the South Santee River in South Carolina.
The NHC uses tropical storm warnings to alert tropical storm conditions in the warning area within 24 hours. Meanwhile, a tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, specifically within 36 to 48 hours.
The latest advisory warns that the cyclone is expected to bring between 3 to 5 inches of rain, with a maximum of 8 inches across the northeastern Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, western Cuba, western Florida, eastern Georgia and the coastal areas of North and South Carolina through 7 June. Flooding could reach around 3ft in some areas, with "localised coastal flooding and dangerous surf" possible along Florida's east coast.
Tropical Storm Colin could also cause some tornadoes. The NHC warns tornadoes are possible on Monday (6 June) across parts of Florida and southern Georgia.
According to CNN, Colin is the third tropical storm to form in 2016 in the Atlantic and the earliest third storm on record to form in the Atlantic Basin. Although the hurricane season did not officially begin until 1 June, two named storms formed before the season's start. Hurricane Alex formed on 13 January and made landfall in the Azores, while Tropical Storm Bonnie soaked the South Carolina coast.