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Tropical Depression “Bonnie” lashes South Carolina with over 200 mm (8 inches) of rainfall

tropical-depression-bonnie-lashes-south-carolina-with-over-200-mm-8-inches-of-rainfall

Bonnie, a second named storm of the Atlantic 2016 hurricane season, made landfall near Charleston, South Carolina on May 29, 2016, and brought torrential downpours and flooding threats across a major part of the state. Over 203.2 mm (8 inches) of precipitation have been reported so far, and coastal areas reported on-going flooding. The system is set to bring further rainfall across parts of Georgia, South and North Carolina, and will likely produce life-threatening surf and rip current conditions in the southeastern US coastal waters.

Bonnie formed as a tropical depression on May 27, over the waters of the southeastern US coast, and developed into a tropical storm the following day, thus becoming the second named storm of the Atlantic 2016 hurricane season. The system's strength decreased by May 29 when it made landfall as a tropical depression east of Charleston, South Carolina at 12:30 UTC.

Tropical Depression "Bonnie" affecting South Carolina, May 29, 2016. Image credit: NASA/NOAA/DoD Suomi NPP/VIIRS

​Image credit: UW-CIMSS

Bonnie brought abundant amounts of rainfall across a large part of South Carolina. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the system brought on average between 50.8 and 203.2 mm (2 and 4 inches) of precipitation across much of South Carolina through 16:00 UTC on May 29. Over 139.7 mm (5.5 inches) of rainfall was recorded at the Charleston Air Force Base by the end of the day. In total, more than 203.2 mm (8 inches) of rainfall was reported over parts of south-central South Carolina.

72-hr accumulated rainfall as observed by the GPM Core Observatory. Image credit: NASA/JAXA GPM, Google

Coastal areas of South Carolina reported flooded highways and traffic disruptions.

Video credit: AP

Video credit: CBS News

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Tropical Depression "Bonnie" was located 50 km (31 miles) east-northeast of Charleston and 95 km (59 miles) southwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on May 30, at 09:00 UTC. The system was packing maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h (30 mph) with gusts up to 64.9 km/h (40.3 mph) and moving northeastward at 6 km/h (3 mph). Its minimum central pressure was estimated at 1 011 hPa.

Bonnie will slowly move northeastward or east-northeastward over the next couple of days. According to NHC, it has been forecast to move near or along the South Carolina coast on May 30 and the North Carolina coast on May 31 and June 1.

Tropical Depression "Bonnie" 3-day forecast track. Image credit: NHC/NWS/NOAA

The system is expected to bring further rainfall, between 25.4 and 50.8 mm (1 to 2 inches), across the east-central Georgia, central and eastern South Carolina, and eastern North Carolina. Locally, up to 101.6 mm (4 inches) are possible. The moisture from the tropical depression will produce about 50.8 mm (2 inches) of precipitation across eastern portions of the mid-Atlantic region into southern New England through June 1.

The NHC warns that Bonnie will likely induce dangerous surf and rip current conditions across parts of the southeastern US coast through May 30. No coastal watches or warnings are currently in effect.

Featured image: Tropical Depression "Bonnie" affecting South Carolina, May 29, 2016. Image credit: NASA/NOAA/DoD Suomi NPP/VIIRS

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