First 2014 Atlantic Tropical Storm??? IMPORTANT UPDATE

Maybe yes, maybe no. Good chance, yes.

It is too early to call, but the blob I mentioned the other day has turned into a spiral and is starting to get organized. Forecasters at NOAA think there is an 80% chance this low pressure phenomenon will be a tropical storm by the 4th of July. They are also, somewhat vaguely, saying that it will move south, then northward, then northwest, which puts the storm off the coast of the US Mid-Atlantic or Southeast somewhere. Given that the storm is not moving in a consistent direction steered by well defined one directional forces, this should be very hard to predict this early.

This afternoon there should be an aircraft taking a closer look, assuming development continues. By tomorrow mid day, I suspect, we'll know a lot more, between the collection of new data, the runs of more models, and the behavior of the proto-storm itself.

But yes, this could be Atlantic Storm 1, Arthur, a menacing off coast storm but almost certainly NOT a hurricane, as it will be moved too far north to really turn into one.

UPDATE: The NWS is now more certain about the disturbance turning into a Tropical Storm:

1. Shower and thunderstorm activity has increased in association with
a low pressure area located about 125 miles east of Melbourne,
Florida. Environmental conditions are becoming more conducive for
development
, and only a slight increase in organization would result
in the formation of a tropical depression
. This system is moving
southwestward at around and 5 mph but is expected to turn westward
tonight and northward by Wednesday near the east Florida coast. A
turn toward the northeast near the southeastern U.S. coast is
expected by Thursday. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft
is en route to investigate the disturbance. If this system becomes
a tropical cyclone, a tropical storm watch could be required for
portions of the central or northern Atlantic coast of Florida.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...80 percent.

UPDATE 2 (Monday evening): Check out Paul Douglas's blog at Star Tribune for details. It is still too early to have high confidence, but there is a good enough chance that there will be a named storm menacing the US Southeast/Mid Atlantic coast on or around the 4th that if you live in that area you might consider the waterproof bratwurst for your picnic.

For reference, here is the list of storm names for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season:

Arthur
Bertha
Cristobal
Dolly
Edouard
Fay
Gonzalo
Hanna
Isaias
Josephine
Kyle
Laura
Marco
Nana
Omar
Paulette
Rene
Sally
Teddy
Vicky
Wilfred

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