CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A hurricane warning was issued for the North Carolina coast Monday as Tropical Storm Alex, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, made its way closer to the Outer Banks.

Alex had maximum sustained winds near 60 mph as of 5 p.m. and was expected to grow into a hurricane in the next 24 hours. The warning was issued for the North Carolina coast from Cape Lookout to Oregon Inlet.

The storm was centered about 150 miles south-southwest of Wilmington, N.C. Tropical storm force winds extended out 105 miles from the storm center and the storm was moving north-northeast at 6 mph.

Larry Shaffer of State College, Pa., vacationing at Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., wasn’t going to let brisk winds and rain drive away his family.

“We’ve got the whole family here, including the kids and grandkids,” said Shaffer, 63. “If it rains, the girls will go shopping and the rest of us will go out to eat.”

Alex started as a tropical depression Saturday and spun in place off the South Carolina coast most of Sunday. By midday Monday it began moving parallel to the coast of the Carolinas.

Only two hurricane seasons on record have a first tropical depression forming later than July 31. But forecasters said a late start has no bearing on hurricane activity.

Boaters around Charleston were warned to be on the lookout for waterspouts. The storm brought scattered showers along the coast as rain bands spun onshore.

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