MIAMI (Reuters) - Subtropical Storm Beryl closed in on the southeastern coast on Sunday as Memorial Day weekend beachgoers braced for heavy rains and dangerous surf stretching from northeast Florida to South Carolina.
The second named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to make landfall late Sunday or early Monday.
The powerful pack of thunderstorms has prompted tropical storm warnings along the U.S. coastline in northern Florida, Georgia and parts of South Carolina.
At 11 a.m. EDT, Beryl was packing winds of 60 miles per hour and located about 125 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
It was moving west toward the U.S. coast at 10 mph with tropical storm force winds extending about 90 miles from the center.
Computer forecast models show Beryl moving on an eventual path back out over the Atlantic after coming ashore, posing no threat to U.S. oil and gas installations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters say it is expected to weaken to a depression on Monday.
The storm is forecast to dump as much as 3 to 6 inches of rain in some areas and threaten rip currents and possible coastal flooding, the center said.
Beryl formed off the South Carolina coast late on Friday. It followed the season's first storm, Tropical Storm Alberto, which was the earliest-forming Atlantic storm since 2003.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30.
(Reporting by Kevin Gray; Editing by Jackie Frank)