Meet Tropical Storm Arlene

Forecasters expect the storm to maintain the southwestward heading until it dissipates later Friday. Hurricane season officially starts June 1st and ends November 30th. Arlene joins Tropical Storm Ana (2003) as the only two named storms in the month of April.

"I have to add one more surprise to my long hurricane forecasting career", wrote the hurricane center's Lixion Avila in a forecast discussion Thursday afternoon. "Unexpectedly, the subtropical cyclone became a tropical depression this morning, and then it intensified to a tropical storm".

Arlene's lifespan was expected to be short, with the storm expected to dissipate on Friday.

Storms have formed even earlier than April.

This is the second consecutive year where hurricane season started early.

The fact that Arlene became a named storm won't really change the surf outlook for the US East Coast and the Caribbean. This happened in 2016, with Hurricane Alex in January and Tropical Storm Bonnie in May.

Arlene is located northeast of Bermuda, producing wind speeds up to 45 miles per hour and traveling west-northwest at 25 miles per hour. Since roughly the 1970s, when widespread satellite usage began, just one other tropical storm formed in April.

When an area of low pressure forms over waters with sea-surface temperatures of at least 70 degrees, a subtropical low can form. The general consensus seems to be that activity will be slightly below average, with a total of 11 to 12 named storms, four to six hurricanes, and between zero and three major hurricanes. They remained below the tropical level threshold, below 39 miles per hour.

"A non-tropical storm will sweep in prior to the end of the week and should create a more hostile atmosphere for strengthening", Kottlowski said.

  • Joe Gonzales