FIRST ALERT: Updates to forecast in anticipation of Tropical Storm Irma

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) A tropical storm watch is in effect for Horry and Georgetown Counties, but as of the 5am update from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Irma has not formed.

The National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service have issued tropical storm watches for Horry and Georgetown Counties through early Tuesday. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.

A tropical storm watch is now in effect for Horry and Georgetown Counties. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.

A developing area of low pressure off the Coast of the Carolinas could become a tropical storm later today. The designation of a tropical storm will come when winds with the system reach 40 mph. When that happens, the system will be given the name ‘Irma’.

The forecast track of what will soon become Tropical Storm Irma is right along the coast of South Carolina and the Grand Strand through the day Monday and into Monday night.

The system will not become a strong tropical storm or hurricane. The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center indicates a minimal tropical storm with winds of 40 mph as the system passes near or over the region late in the day on Monday.

RAINFALL IMPACTS: Locally heavy rain will be likely at times this afternoon through the overnight hours for areas near the beaches. Rain totals may reach as high as 2 to 4 inches along the Grand Strand. No significant flooding is likely, but some ponding on roads may occur during the times of heaviest rain Monday afternoon and Monday evening. Much lighter rains are expected inland.

WIND IMPACTS: Irma is forecast to be a minimal tropical storm as it moves by late in the day on Monday. Strong and damaging winds are not likely. The gustiest winds will occur for areas along the immediate beaches where gusts of 35 to 40 are possible late Monday through Monday evening. Inland areas will only see winds of 20 to 25 mph. No power outages are expected.

TORNADO RISK: There will be a very low risk of an isolated tornado near the coast late Monday and Monday evening.

RIP CURRENTS AND EROSION: Dangerous rip currents are likely Monday and Tuesday as gusty northeast winds create very rough surf. Some minor beach erosion is likely as well. Very dangerous boating conditions will develop tonight and linger into early Tuesday.

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