Rare April tropical storm forms in Atlantic

- For only the second time in recent history, a tropical storm has formed in the Atlantic during the month of April.  Tropical Depression 1 became Tropical Storm Arlene on Thursday after satellite views showed unexpected strengthening.

As of the National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. advisory, Arlene had reached tropical storm status with estimated winds of 45 mph.

Admittedly surprised forecasters say the storm still won’t pose any threat to land and should be short-lived.

“Despite the intensification, Arlene is still forecast by all global models to become absorbed by a nearby developing extratropical cyclone on Friday,” the official advisory states.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1, though it’s not unusual for storms to swirl up in May.  But April is far less common.

“Tropical storms in April are rare and Arlene is only the second one observed in this month during the satellite era,” Thursday’s advisory continued.  “It should be noted, however, that this type of storm was practically impossible to detect prior to the weather satellite era.”

This is the second year in a row with unusual early-season developments.  Hurricane Alex formed in January of last year, the first January hurricane since 1955.

LINK: Track the tropics on MyFoxHurricane.com

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