National Hurricane Center monitors area of disorganized weather with potential for development

Weak system could form off southeast coast by Friday

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – It's not even the official start of hurricane season yet, but already the National Hurricane Center in Miami is keeping an eye on the tropics.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday afternoon that an area of showers and thunderstorms in the Atlantic Ocean, to the northeast of the Bahamas, has a 30 percent chance of tropical or subtropical development.

The area of disorganized weather is expected to move slowly west-northwest and gradually approach the southeastern U.S.

"By Friday, we may see a weak area of low pressure trying to get its act together and perhaps making a run at a part of the southeast coast," Local 10 News chief certified meteorologist Betty Davis said.

Local 10 News hurricane specialist Max Mayfield said some computer models are indicating that a surface low will develop over the next few days.

Although it's rare for a storm to form before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, it has happened. Last May, Tropical Storm Ana formed off the southeast coast and made landfall in South Carolina. In May 2012, two named storms, Alberto and Beryl, formed off the southeast coast.

Earlier this year, Hurricane Alex formed in the eastern Atlantic. The next named storm of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season will be Bonnie.

Mayfield, who previously served as director of the National Hurricane Center, said the most likely scenario at this time is for a relatively weak system to move toward the southeast U.S., somewhere between northeastern Florida and South Carolina, in the next few days.

"Given the uncertainties in forecasting genesis (or initial development), it would be a good idea to keep an eye on this system, especially if you have any travel plans over the holiday weekend near the path of the tropical cyclone formation potential graphic issued by the NHC," Mayfield said.

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