1st tropical depression of season forms far from land

Tropical Depression 1 first formed as a subtropical system on Wednesday, and was about 700 miles west of the Azores by Thursday afternoon. Category 3 hurricanes pack sustained winds of 111 to 129 mph, Category 4 storms reach 130 to 156 mph and Category 5 storms, which are rare, carry sustained winds of 157 mph or stronger.

"Despite the intensification, Arlene is still forecast by all global models to become absorbed by a nearby developing extratropical cyclone on Friday", the official advisory states.

The 2017 tropical outlook will be updated again on June 1st but at this point we can be guaranteed of at least 1 named storm in 2017. El NiƱo tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form. By Thursday morning it was a tropical depression.

The 2017 predictions averaged 12 named storms, five hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

The system has migrated from part tropical and part subtropical to a fully tropical system.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season officials goes from June 1 to November 30. Only one tropical storm was recorded in April between 1851 and 2015, those records show (compared to 21 in May).


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

Tropical storms and hurricanes require a warmer ocean surface temperature to get going (about 82F/28C), whereas subtropical lows are possible with sea temperatures of about 70F/21C.

"In 2015, Tropical Storm Ana formed on May 8".

Just past year, Hurricane Alex formed in January.

A subtropical depression or storm exhibits features of both tropical and non-tropical systems. "It takes only one storm near you to make this an active season", Bell said.

The Weather Company's primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives.


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