NAPLES, Fla. – Tropical Storm Arthur formed Saturday off the east-central coast of Florida – the first named story of the Atlantic season.
At 11 p.m. EDT, the storm was located about 190 miles east-northeast of Cape Canaveral, according to the National Hurricane Center. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving north-northeast at 13 mph.
Arthur is expected to remain well offshore of Florida and Georgia on Sunday, and then move near or east of the coast of North Carolina on Monday.
Forecasters issued a tropical storm watch for a portion of the North Carolina coast.
Rough weather: First storm of hurricane season will bring rain, heavy surf
“Interests near the North Carolina coast should closely monitor the progress of this system, as it could produce gusty winds and heavy rains there on Monday,” forecasters wrote Saturday afternoon.
The system brought gusty winds and heavy rains across portions of east-central Florida on Saturday.
This marks the sixth consecutive year with a named storm in May, which is before the season’s official start date of June 1.
In fact, “in every year since 2012, except for 2014, there has been at least one named tropical system during May,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
Most of the May storms have tended to be weak and uneventful, with Tropical Storm Alberto in 2018 being a deadly exception. That storm, which hit 65 mph, killed 18 people in Cuba and the United States.
In April, hurricane forecasters from Colorado State University predicted the 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season will be “above-normal.”
Contributing: Cheryl McCloud and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Tropical Storm Arthur forms off Florida coast, threatens Carolinas