UPDATE: Beryl makes landfall as a strong tropical storm near Jacksonville Beach, FL at 12:10 am EDT Monday
UPDATE: Beryl near hurricane strength with winds at 70 mph, less than 75 miles east of Jacksonville, FL as of 8 p.m. EDT Sunday
UPDATE: Beryl transitions from sub-tropical storm to tropical storm with winds up to 65 mph, less than 110 miles east of Jacksonville, FL as of 2 p.m. EDT Sunday
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is forecasting the first land-falling tropical system of the hurricane season, less than five days before the official start.
Sub-Tropical Storm Beryl formed Friday night with winds of 45 mph off the South Carolina coast, making it the second named storm of the season. The first named storm Alberto, also formed off the South Carolina coast May 19.
As of late Sunday morning, Beryl was moving to the west at 10 mph with increased sustained winds of 60 mph, less than 125 miles to the east of Jacksonville, FL.
On the current forecast track, Beryl is expected to make landfall tonight or early Monday morning on the northeast Florida coast near Jacksonville, according to NHC.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from the Volusia and Brevard County line in Florida to Edisto Beach in South Carolina.
Mayor Alvin Brown issued a declaration of emergency in Jacksonville Sunday morning at the Duval County Emergency Operations Center ahead of the storm.
Only minor to moderate impacts from wind and rain are expected for the warning area with three to six inches of rainfall possible. This area is in a significant drought and the rainfall will be much needed.
Tropical storm conditions will be reaching the coast of northeast Florida and southeastern Georgia by late Sunday afternoon and continue through tonight. Gusts to hurricane force are also possible over portions of northeastern Florida and southeastern Georgia.
However, the most dangerous impacts from Beryl are already being felt along the coasts as many flock to the beaches this Memorial Day weekend.
One person is missing and over 200 people had to be rescued from area beaches from northeast Florida to North Carolina as a result of dangerous surf conditions including rip currents, generated by Beryl on Saturday.
The Daytona News Journal reported more than 150 people were rescued from rip currents in Volusia Co., FL alone, county officials said. WSAV-TV reported more than 60 rescues from rip currents off of Georgia's Tybee Island.
According to New Hanover Co., NC dispatch, a woman called 911 around 8:45 p.m. EDT Saturday night to report that she saw a man who was swimming disappear in the waves near Access 4. Wrightsville Beach Police and Fire Departments, along with SABLE helicopter and the Coast Guard are working together to search for the person.
The National Weather Service has issued several statements, warning of the high rip current risk along the coasts of Florida and the Carolinas this holiday weekend.
The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season does not officially begin until June 1 and continues until November 30.
NHC is forecasting up to 15 named storms to form during the season.