Waves will be higher and winds brisker at Beaufort County beaches this weekend as a weather system expected to become the season's second tropical storm skirts the South Carolina coast.
The system, about 300 miles southeast of Charleston late Friday night, was tracking toward the Jacksonville, Fla., area, National Weather Service forecasters said. It has an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical storm -- with the name Beryl -- by Sunday evening.
Tropical storm warnings were issued from Edisto Beach -- just north of Beaufort County -- to the Cape Canaveral area in Florida.
The system could bring big waves and gusts up to 25 mph to Lowcountry beaches. The chance of rain will be 16 percent today, 40 percent tonight, 60 percent on Sunday and 40 percent on Monday, the weather service said.
The season's first tropical storm, Alberto, hovered off the South Carolina and Georgia last weekend, producing showers and serving as a reminder that the 2012 hurricane season begins next Friday.
The National Weather Service said Friday night that the storm's winds of 45 mph weren't quite at tropical storm force. But they are expected to increase as the storm slows down in the Atlantic.
Tropical storm warnings are out for the Volusia/Brevard County line in Florida to Edisto Beach, S.C. A watch is out for most of the South Carolina coast.