NAPLES, Fla. – Tropical Depression One formed Saturday off the east-central coast of Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.
At 8 p.m. EDT, the storm was located about 175 miles northeast of Melbourne, Florida, according to the NHC. It had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.
The low pressure system is expected to move northeastward over the Atlantic near or east of the Carolinas on Sunday and early next week, according to NHC. Forecasters issued a tropical storm watch for a portion of the North Carolina coast.
The system brought gusty winds and heavy rains across portions of east-central Florida on Saturday.
North Carolina residents should also be on alert.
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, and a tropical storm watch will likely be issued for that area later today,” forecasters wrote Saturday afternoon.
The first tropical storm in the Atlantic during this hurricane season will be named Arthur.
If Arthur develops, 2020 would mark 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 Depression One forms off Florida coast, threatens Carolinas