NU Online News Service, May 21, 11:56 a.m.EST

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Tropical Storm Alberto made an early-season appearance in theAtlantic basin over the weekend forming off the Carolina coast onSaturday, but forecasters say the storm poses no threat toland.

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The National Weather Service first reported Tropical StormAlberto at 5 p.m. EDT Saturday.

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The storm reached a top speed of 50 mph on Sunday morning withits approach closest to land at 8 a.m. EDT when it was 95 milessouth-southeast of Charleston, S.C.

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Alberto's position early this morning was 165 miles south ofCharleston, S.C. and 100 miles east-northeast of St. Augustine,Fla.

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The storm is expected to remain well offshore for the rest ofthe week as it moves away from the coast.

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The storm made its debut two weeks before the start of thehurricane season, which officially begins June 1.

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This is the earliest named storm since 2007, when Tropical StormAndrea appeared in early May.

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Forecasters so far are calling for a less-active AtlanticHurricane Season this year.

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In early April, Colorado State University forecasterssaid thisyear's season would see 10 named storms, four of which willbecome hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

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Later in the April, Weather Service International issueda prediction of 11 tropical storms, six of which will becomehurricanes and, of those, two of which will be major with windsabove 111 mph.

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