02 June 2023

Tropical Storm Arlene forms on Day 2 of Hurricane Season

The official Atlantic Hurricane Season spans June 1 through November 30, and coincidentally, Tropical Depression 2 formed on June 1... and was just upgraded to Tropical Storm Arlene on June 2.  Although it's located right off the Florida peninsula, there is no cause for concern.  There is zero guidance suggesting this will intensify beyond where it's at now.

As you can see in the satellite animation above, the low-level circulation (the swirling part) is almost entirely exposed and the strong thunderstorm activity (the bright white part) occupies a small portion of the area to the northeast of the center.  This is indicative of strong vertical wind shear, and that is expected to increase.  So, Arlene will not be around for long, but its moisture will be.

Arlene will track generally south toward Cuba today and Saturday, then whatever is left is forecast to head east toward south Florida.  The only likely impact is elevated chances of heavy rain on Sunday-Monday.  The map below shows the forecast rainfall accumulation through Monday evening from the GFS model -- don't take the details literally, but you get a sense of the areas that could potentially see some flooding rains.

You may recall last hurricane season also had a prompt start with Tropical Storm Alex forming on June 5.  However, for the seven years before that, the first named storms all occurred before June 1.  Over the past fifty years, the trend of the date of first named storm is decidedly getting earlier.

The next name on the list is Bret, but there's no hint of that happening anytime soon.  The 2023 list of storm names in the Atlantic is List 3 (out of 6), which was first used in 1981 and every six years since.  10 of the 21 original names are still on the list.  New names on it this time around are Harold, Idalia, Margot, and Nigel.

This list has had 12 names retired from it (Floyd '99, Lenny '99, Dennis '05, Katrina '05, Rita '05, Stan '05, Wilma '05, Irene '11, Harvey '17, Irma '17, Maria '17, Nate '17). Hopefully we don't add to that infamous list this year...

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