CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Tropical Storm Beta became the third storm to form Friday and the second to require the use of a letter from the Greek alphabet for its name.
At 5 p.m., the center of Beta was located near latitude 24.3 North, longitude 93.1 West. Beta is moving toward the north-northeast near 9 mph, and this general motion is expected through Saturday. A slow westward motion is forecast to begin late Saturday or Saturday night, and this motion will likely continue into early next week.
On the forecast track, the center of Beta will approach western coast of the Gulf of Mexico Sunday night and Monday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph with higher gusts. Additional slow strengthening is expected
through the weekend, and Beta could be near hurricane strength Sunday or Sunday night.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 29.65 inches.
The season’s first storm named after a Greek letter has formed near the coast of Portugal earlier on Friday.
The storm will bring winds and rain to portions of Portugal and Spain before it dissipates.
At 12:30 p.m., the center of Subtropical Storm Alpha was located near latitude 39.9 North, longitude 9.3 West.
The storm is moving toward the northeast near 17 mph, and this general motion is expected during the next day or so before dissipation. Alpha should move across the coast of west-central Portugal during the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected before landfall, with rapid weakening over land through the weekend.
Alpha is a small storm. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 35 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 29.50 inches.
Meanwhile, forecasters are watching Tropical Storm Wilfred, which formed Friday morning in the Atlantic about 630 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.
Live 5 Meteorologist Joey Sovine says Wilfred is expected to dissipate by early next week.
At 5 p.m., the center of Tropical Storm Wilfred was located near latitude 12.5 North, longitude 34.4 West.
Wilfred is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue for the next few days. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Wilfred could strengthen a little overnight and Saturday before weakening likely begins by Sunday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 29.77 inches.
This year’s hurricane season is only the second in which Greek letters have been used for storms after the yearly name list is exhausted. The last that happened was in the 2005 season, when six storms were named after Greek letters.
The next three letters in the Greek alphabet are Gamma, Delta and Epsilon. The 2005 season had six storms with Greek letters, the last being Tropical Storm Zeta which formed in late December of that year.