First storm of the new hurricane season will likely form this weekend near Florida and the Bahamas


  • Image via NOAA
A system in the Atlantic just east of Florida now has an extremely high chance of forming into the season’s first named storm.

According to a Wednesday morning advisory from the National Hurricane Center, an area of low pressure near the northeastern part of the Bahamas now has a 70% chance of forming into a subtropical storm or depression over the next five days.

“A broad area of low pressure is expected to develop late this week or early this weekend near or within a couple of hundred miles north of the Bahamas,” said the advisory. “Environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual development of this system, and a subtropical depression or storm is likely to form this weekend while it moves northeastward over the western Atlantic.”
If the storm does indeed develop, it would be the first of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and it would be named Arthur.

While the hurricane season does not officially start until June 1, the unusually early start to this year’s batch of storms will likely collide with Florida’s coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz announced that his agency will be adding a surplus of face masks to the state’s stockpile of storm supplies.
“We're going to have 10 million masks in reserve by the time the hurricane season starts,” Moskowitz said. “And we signed a long-term deal with Honeywell to help get us 12 million N95 masks over the next year directly from the manufacturing plant, with a significant portion of that being delivered during hurricane season.”

The state has not released details on exactly how it plans to deal with crowded storm shelters during the outbreak.

This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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