PEMBROKE PARK. Fla. – It took a little longer than forecasters expected, but Tropical Storm Josephine has formed, becoming the earliest “J” storm in Atlantic history.
At 5 p.m. Thursday it was about 865 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands packing maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The system, previously known as Tropical Depression Eleven, is moving west-northwest at 16 mph.
“This general motion is expected to continue for the next few days followed by a turn toward the northwest late this weekend or early next week,” the Miami-based Hurricane Center said. “On the forecast track, the center of Josephine is expected to pass to the northeast of the Leeward Islands over the weekend. ... Some strengthening is expected through Friday night.”
Forecasters say that the tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles to the north of Josephine’s center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 millibars.
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect at this point, but the Leeward Islands are being instructed to monitor the progress of the storm.
Local 10 meteorologist Luke Dorris says the system will likely be slowed down by some hostile winds, and at this point, it appears it will stay far away from Florida.
The earliest “J” storm before Josephine was Jose, which formed on Aug. 22, 2005.
For the latest forecast information, head over to the Local 10 Weather Authority page.