As of the 5pm advisory Saturday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center says Bonnie has strengthened from a tropical depression to a tropical storm. The expectation was for this area of low pressure to organize and intensity somewhat as it approached the South Carolina coast, where Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect.
Bonnie is a weak tropical storm with sustained winds at 40 mph. It is moving slowly northwest at 10 mph. Although there is some room for strengthening through late Saturday, it is not expected to exceed tropical storm strengthen before it moves over land and slowly weakens.
The primary threats with this system are heavy rain, flooding, high surf and rip current threats for the Carolinas over the next few days as this slow moving system tracks over the area.
Bonnie is the second named storm of the year, following Alex back in January. The official start of hurricane season is not until June 1st.
Bonnie will have no impact on Southwest Florida weather.