Tropical Storm Josephine forecast to form in Atlantic, would set another hurricane season record
“Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later today,” the NHC said in its 11 a.m. EDT update.
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, and the system is forecast to eventually move west-northwest through the rest of the week.
If the system does become a tropical storm, it would have the name “Josephine,” and would be the 10th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.
It could also set a record for the earliest “J” named storm.
Colorado State University hurricane scientist Phil Klotzbach tweeted the current record for the earliest Atlantic ‘J’ storm is Jose, which formed on Aug 22, 2005.
Current forecasts bring the tropical storm north of the Leeward Islands by the weekend.
The system is forecast to move just north of the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico Saturday and Sunday as a tropical storm.
However, environmental conditions and direction do not indicate a threat to the United States.
This weekend the system will also encounter a less favorable environment and is forecast to weaken or possibly dissipate.
NOAA forecasters are now calling for up to 25 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher; of those, seven to 10 could become hurricanes. Among those hurricanes, three to six will be major, classified as Category 3, 4, and 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher.
These numbers include the nine storms that have already formed, which were seven tropical storms and two hurricanes.
That’s far above an average year. Based on 1981 to 2010 data, that is 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.
This 2020 season has been active and record-breaking so far. The ninth named storm this season, Hurricane Isaias, made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., last week after it broke the record for the earliest “I” storm in the Atlantic basin.
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and includes the names: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.
Fox News’ Janice Dean and Brandon Noriega contributed to this report.