Beachgoers were warned away, emergency officials kept a watchful eye and at least one graduation ceremony was forced indoors as Tropical Storm Ana plodded toward the Carolinas on Saturday in an early heaping of rough weather weeks ahead of the official start of the Atlantic hurricane…
Beachgoers were warned away, emergency officials kept a watchful eye and at least one graduation ceremony was forced indoors as Tropical Storm Ana plodded toward the Carolinas on Saturday in an early heaping of rough weather weeks ahead of the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Meanwhile, a large swath of the nation’s midsection was also facing severe weather on Saturday, with tornado watches issued for much of Oklahoma, eastern Colorado and western Kansas.
The National Weather Service upgraded the risk of tornadoes for parts of North Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area, to moderate risk for Saturday evening. Overall, nearly 50 Texas counties were under a tornado watch, and at least one tornado warning had been reported by late afternoon.
National Weather Service forecaster Daryl Williams said, nickel- to quarter-size hail was reported Saturday near Lawton and Anadarko in southwestern Oklahoma. One to two inches of rain had fallen across southeastern Oklahoma since midnight, while rainfall totals were up to an inch in northwestern Oklahoma.
North Texas has had several days of bad weather. Tornadoes touched down in Wise, Denton and Cooke counties Thursday. Crews worked to reopen a North Texas train line after flooding early Friday washed away tracks and 17 cars of a freight train derailed.
Off the East Coast, Tropical Storm Ana was centered about 65 miles southeast of Myrtle Beach, S.C., as of 5 p.m Saturday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm had top sustained winds of 60 mph but had slowed from its earlier speed, moving northwest at 3 mph, and was forecast to be “very near” the coasts of South and North Carolina sometime Sunday morning.
Universities along the Carolina coastline were monitoring the storm as a possible disruption to weekend commencements. Ceremonies scheduled for Brooks Stadium on Saturday at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C., were moved indoors out of caution. In Wilmington, N.C., UNC Wilmington held graduation indoors, as planned, but urged students and family members to watch weather conditions and make their own determination on the safety of traveling.