Atlantic’s first named storm likely this weekend

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Friday (May 15) said a tropical or subtropical storm is likely to form near the northwestern Bahamas over the weekend.

The hurricane season starts June 1 but forecasters at the NHC said the system which has already brought broad heavy rain and wind across southern Florida has a 70 per cent chance of developing prior to the official start date of the season. 

According to the Miami-based centre a trough of low pressure is currently moving through the Florida straits and could organise over the northwestern Bahamas later today or tomorrow.

The weather system would become the first named storm of the 2020 hurricane season.

If it develops the storm could be named Arthur.

Regardless of the systems development, the hurricane centre said there will be heavy rainfall over sections of the Florida Keys and The Bahamas.

“Tropical-storm-force wind gusts are possible in the Florida Keys, southeast Florida, and the Bahamas during the next day or so. Hazardous marine conditions are also expected along the Florida east coast in the Bahamas, where Gale Warnings are in effect,” read a release from the NHC.

Forecasters have said that the official start of hurricane season may get shifted to May after several consecutive seasons produced storms prior to the official start date of June 1.