Since last weekend, there has been an area of disturbed weather gradually making its way from the southern Windward Islands to its current location just north of Honduras. During the past 18 hours or so, it has gotten much better organized... the convection is stronger, more persistent, and more centrally located over the low-level circulation. Based on those indicators plus and an aircraft reconnaissance flight into it, it was upgraded to Tropical Depression 1 at 22Z today (6pm EDT). The intensity was found to be 30kts and 1004mb and on an upward trend.
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the eastern Yucatan Peninsula, and the center of the storm will move ashore late Saturday afternoon. Although the Yucatan Peninsula is flat, it still cuts off a tropical cyclone's life support system: the warm ocean. When the storm exits the Yucatan later this weekend, it is unknown what condition it will be in as it enters the Gulf of Mexico (anywhere from mildly weakened to severely weakened). Regardless, the sea surface temperatures will be in the 29C ballpark, which combined with low vertical wind shear, the storm should re-intensify as it heads north across the Gulf.
TD1 will most likely become the season's first tropical storm within the next 6-12 hours, and the first name on the list is Alex.
Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.