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System Off Florida May Be 2019's First Named Atlantic Storm

Brian K. Sullivan
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System Off Florida May Be 2019's First Named Atlantic Storm

System Off Florida May Be 2019's First Named Atlantic Storm

(Bloomberg) -- The Atlantic hurricane season’s official start is a month away, but the waters off Florida are already churning.

A patch of low pressure swirling over the northwest Bahamas has a 20 percent chance over the next five days of becoming the first tropical storm of 2019, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Either way, the system will probably dump heavy rains across Florida and the Bahamas.

“May storms are not all that uncommon,” said Jim Rouiller, chief meteorologist at Energy Weather Group. “As far as energy production is concerned there is not one worry.”

The potential storm -- which would be named Andrea if it reaches tropical strength -- developed from a disturbance in the polar jet stream that drifted south and picked up energy from abnormally warm water off the U.S. coast.

Those warm waters will probably spawn other early-season storms, but they’re unlikely to be as powerful as the hurricanes that will emerge later in the season from the central Atlantic, Rouiller said.

“If they do form they are good for basically just conversation,” Rouiller said.

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