Even though the Atlantic hurricane season doesn’t begin until June 1st, it appears Mother Nature is trying to get a head start. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center continue to monitor an area of low pressure northwest of the Bahamas, giving it a high chance of development within the next 24 hours, which means we could have our first named storm of the season by the end of the weekend.
Environmental conditions will be conducive for this low pressure to acquire subtropical characteristics. This means that it will not likely be a true tropical cyclone, but could still pack a punch. Subtropical systems have a relatively broad zone of maximum winds located farther from the center—more than 100 miles out. They also typically have a less symmetric wind field and an uneven distribution of thunderstorms and rain.
As this system moves northeast into the open waters of the western Atlantic, it will develop extratropical features into early next week. The Bahamas, Cuba, and Bermuda need to be watched closely for the potential of flooding rain in the days ahead. In the Southeastern United States, especially Florida, some beaches may have breezier-than-normal weather and a heightened risk of rip currents and flooding downpours over the weekend.
It is very possible that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season may see “Arthur” before the official season start date of June 1st. Off-season tropical systems are not uncommon, especially subtropical systems. In fact, all of the “A” named storms from 2015 through 2019 had their origin as a subtropical system before June.
– Ana: early May 2015
– Alex: mid-January 2016
– Arlene: mid-April 2017
– Alberto: late May 2018
– Andrea: late May 2019
Click below to learn more about off-season tropical systems with Meteorologist Steve Glazier.
Stay with WeatherNation as we continue to follow this developing situation.