Subtropical Storm Beryl forms off South Carolina coast

MIAMI Fri May 25, 2012 11:49pm EDT

MIAMI May 25 (Reuters) - Subtropical Storm Beryl formed off the South Carolina coast on Friday and forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for parts of the Southeastern U.S. coast.

Beryl had top sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (75 kph) and was in the Atlantic about 305 miles (490 km) east of Charleston, South Carolina, the Miami-based center said.

Beryl is not expected to threaten oil and gas drilling or production. The storm is forecast to eventually turn back toward the Atlantic and away from the Gulf of Mexico, where U.S. oil and gas operations are clustered.

Subtropical storms usually have a broader wind field than tropical storms and their shower and thunderstorm activity is more removed from the storm's center.

A tropical storm warning was issued for an area stretching from northeast Florida to South Carolina. The warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the area over the next 36 hours.

Beryl was moving north but expected to veer west-southwest or southwest on Saturday, the hurricane center said. The storm's center is expected to be near or over the Southeastern U.S. coast on Sunday, it said.

Beryl is the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, although it is not uncommon for storms to form outside that time frame. (Reporting by Kevin Gray; editing by Todd Eastham)

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