First Atlantic tropical storm of the year may form early

Weather Blog

GFS forecast model showing the potential tropical cyclone on Sunday, off the southeast coast of the U.S.

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season had its earliest start on record this year when Tropical Depression One-E briefly formed 900 miles off the southwest coast of Mexico on April 25th. Now, it appears that Atlantic hurricane season may be off to an early start as well.

Computer forecast models are in agreement that an area of low pressure emerging from Cuba northward into the Bahamas this Saturday may deepen into a closed system. Warm water and relatively low wind shear may allow it to strengthen into Tropical Depression One, or Tropical Storm Arthur if sustained winds reach 39+ miles per hour.

All indications as of now are that this potential system will stay far from Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, and likely offshore of the east coast of the U.S. as well.

Animation of the GFS forecast model Friday through Monday, showing the potential tropical cyclone forming off the southeast coast.

If this does occur, it would not be the earliest Atlantic tropical cyclone on record, but it would be unusual. The first named storm in the Atlantic basin does not usually occur until July 9. According to National Hurricane Center climatology, early-season tropical cyclones are most likely to form in this same area.

Tropical cyclones forming between May 11-20, between the years 1851-2015 (NHC)

Stay with the KXAN First Warning Weather team through Atlantic hurricane season, which officially runs June 1 through November 30.

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