Tropical Storm Arthur is the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, two weeks ahead of the official June 1 start.
Arthur became a tropical storm overnight, carrying winds of 40-miles-per-hour, and was 355 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Caroline as at 8 a.m. New York time.
It is expected to approach the coast tomorrow but not make landfall.
The early start to the hurricane season is the sixth consecutive year, with some scientists noting conditions which hint the season may be as bad as 2005 when there were 28 named storms, including the devastating Hurricane Katrina.
Lead meteorologist at the Energy Weather Group, Jim Rouiller, told Bloomberg that “All the puzzle pieces are in place, no matter how I slice and dice it. It gives me higher than normal confidence this year will mimic a hyperactive hurricane season, and that is what 2005 was.”
The early start to the season is also of concern as June 1 date is determined on a long-term average which could mean that climate change is allowing for conditions for systems to develop sooner and stay longer in the year.
AccuWeather Inc. estimates that as many as 18 storms could reach tropical storm strength and be named, well above the 30-year average of 12.