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First named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season forms

By MERRICK ANDREWS, St. Lucia News Online staff reporter/editor

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NHC graphFor the fifth consecutive year a tropical storm has formed in the Atlantic before the official start of the hurricane season, weather officials have said.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said in an advisory that the low-pressure sub-tropical system, named Andrea, formed Monday evening (May 20) and is now “located hundreds of miles southwest of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds of about 40 mph”.

According to Accuweather, the NHC was prompted to send an aircraft to examine the storm after it strengthened and moved north of The Bahamas.

AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said Andrea will be a very short-lived storm, is not expected to “survive past Tuesday night” and should weaken to a depression by early Wednesday before it reaches Bermuda.

Kottlowski said Bermuda should expect “gusty winds, brief heavy rainfall and rough surf” as a result, with marine interests advised to take extra precaution.

“They have worse winter storms than this will be,” he said.

But do not be alarmed by the early onset of the hurricane season, Kottlowksi told AccuWeather.

“Early-season development like this does not portend what the rest of the hurricane season will bring, especially since this is a weak storm,” Kottlowski said.

According to The Washington Post, the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is “predicted to feature near to slightly below normal activity overall”.

The next Atlantic tropical storm will be named Barry.

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