Tropical Storm Intensifies in Gulf of Mexico

tropical storm
Map by the National Weather Service

Major storms may already be brewing near the United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday was tracking the development of a tropical storm as it intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico.

Weather officials initially began documenting this system as a tropical depression on June 1, the very first day of hurricane season this year.

The NOAA had initially begun tracking another weak distance for the development of a storm system in the Atlantic Ocean ahead of the season, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The NOAA had also predicted a near-normal season for hurricane development this year. Weather officials are expecting one to four major storms and as many as 12 to 17 storms with wind speeds in excess of 39 miles per hour, which would denote a tropical storm.

It appears that the first tropical storm of this season has already developed.

The National Hurricane Center announced on Friday that a tropical depression two in the Gulf of Mexico has developed into a tropical storm.  Weather officials opted to name this storm Tropical Storm Arlene.

Arlene currently has recorded maximum sustained wind speeds in excess of 40 miles per hour and is moving southward at five miles per hour.

Despite this system’s close development to the state of Florida, weather officials do not expect this storm to pose any risks to the mainland as it tracks to the south.

Ted Ryan with the NWS in Fort Worth told The Dallas Express that the motion and trajectory of this tropical storm are “strange” given that most storms do not move toward the south. This system is, however, expected to be short-lived as it moves toward Cuba.

“Right now the maximum winds are near 40 miles an hour and it is expected to start weakening tonight and just become a remnant low, tomorrow,” said Ryan.

Ryan said that the average number of tropical storms and hurricanes for the month of June is one and that it is rare that a storm system like this had formed this early.

Weather officials continue to monitor regions for activity as the season progresses.

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