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It's an unusually early forecast of the potential formation of a tropical weather system about 460 miles northeast of Puerto Rico.
According to a "special tropical weather outlook" issued Wednesday afternoon, the low pressure system has developed shower and thunderstorm activity near its center and satellite data and ship reports indicate gale-force winds north of the center.
Slow development of the system is possible during the next few days as it moves west northwest at about 10 mph. Forecasters say there is a low chance, about 20 percent, of the system developing into a subtropical or tropical cyclone before conditions become less favorable in about 48 hours. It is unusual to have a subtropical or tropical cyclone form this early in the year. The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1.
Although the hurricane season is defined as beginning on June 1 and ending on November 30, there have been several off-season storms. Since 1870, there have been 32 off-season cyclones, 18 of which occurred in May. In the same time span, nine storms formed in December, two in April and one each in January, February and March. Four seasons, 1887, 1953, 2003 and 2007 have had storms form both before and after the official hurricane season. In 1887, there were four storms that occurred outside the season, the most in a single year. High vertical wind shear and low sea surface temperatures generally preclude formation.
America could face five major hurricanes this year, as experts warned the storm season will once again be 'above-average'. Researchers at Colorado State University predicted there will be 16 named storms between June and November, nine of which will turn into hurricanes. They said five of those are expected to spiral into major hurricanes, defined as category three storms with sustained winds of 111mph or more. Read more: www.dailymail.co.uk...