The first tropical storm of the 2020 hurricane season has formed off the eastern coast of Florida tonight. Hurricane Hunters have now found winds consistent with that of a tropical storm. The storm is just now moving away from the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream Current, so significant strengthening is not expected. However, the storm will pass over warmer waters again as it nears the North Carolina coastline. That should allow the system to be a tropical storm as it passes near the coast. Therefore, a tropical storm watch has been posted for the North Carolina coastline (yellow).
Pictured below is the current position of the storm (the ‘x’) and the forecast path. It is unclear what the storm will do after Wednesday.
While hurricane season doesn’t begin until June 1st, we have seen more and more storms form earlier in the season in recent years.