Hurricane Bertha may cause rip currents along South Carolina coast

This NOAA satellite image taken Monday at 01:45 PM EDT shows an area of dense cloud cover northeast of the Bahamas associated with Hurricane Bertha. Another prominent area of clouds extends from the North Atlantic southwestward along the Eastern Seaboard into Florida due to a stationary boundary, with rain and thunderstorms.

Hurricane Bertha may cause rip currents to form on South Carolina's coast, according to the National Weather Service.

The moderate risk is in effect through Tuesday evening for Southeast Georgia and Southeast South Carolina.

The newly formed hurricane is not expected to pose any direct threat to the U.S. East Coast.

The center of the storm is expected to stay offshore as it passes wide of the U.S. mainland over the next few days, and the storm is also likely to miss Bermuda.

"There's no direct impact that will be felt on the U.S. East Coast. However, there could be added surf and rip current conditions," said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The hurricane formed Monday morning, and its maximum sustained winds decreased to near 75 mph by the afternoon. Further weakening was expected.

The hurricane was centered about 650 miles (900 kilometers) west-southwest of Bermuda and is moving north near 18 mph (30 kph).

On Sunday, the storm brought rain and gusty winds to the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos. It also caused temporary evacuation of dozens of families in the Dominican Republic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.