Hurricane season doesn’t officially begin for nearly another month, but a storm off the coast of the southeast U.S. could develop into the season’s first named storm by week’s end.
Computer models have been showing a low developing north of the Bahamas – east of Florida – by Monday or Tuesday, and most of the models track the system slowly northward off the coast of the Carolinas by Wednesday and Thursday. It’s still too close to determine whether or not the system could directly impact the Carolina or Georgia coastline, but some impacts, likely starting Wednesday, appear probable. At this point, the chances of the system developing into a tropical or subtropical storm still appear unlikely, but there is a chance it could happen.
On Sunday morning, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) gave the system a 30 percent chance of developing into a subtropical or tropical low within five days. The next update from the NHC will come on Monday morning.
If it were to officially develop into a storm, it would be named Ana.
Water temperatures in the region are between 70° and 75°, below the typical water temperature threshold for tropical development of 80°, but warm enough to support some subtropical elements in the system.
The Atlantic’s hurricane season officially runs from June 1st through November 30th, but there have been several instances in years past of tropical systems developing outside of those months. In May 2008, Tropical Storm Arthur developed off the coast of Belize before quickly making landfall on the Central American nation shortly afterwards. In May 1970, Hurricane Alma developed in the western Caribbean before mostly turning into a big rainmaker as it hit the Florida panhandle.
WeatherNationTV.com and WeatherNation will keep you posted on this system as it slowly tracks northward over the next few days.
Meteorologist Chris Bianchi