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National Hurricane Center issues first advisory of season; system off Florida has 50% chance of development

Cheryl McCloud
Florida Today
Northwest Florida Daily News

The official beginning of the 2020 hurricane season won't arrive until June 1, but the first advisory has been issued by the National Hurricane Center.

An area of low pressure is expected to develop this weekend a couple hundred miles northeast of the Bahamas.

Environmental conditions appear conducive for this system to acquire some subtropical characteristics as it moves northeast through Sunday, according to the Hurricane Center.

Formation chance through 48 hours: low, near 0%.

Formation chance through 5 days: medium, 50%.

"This is a couple of weeks early, which happens from time to time," said Jerry Combs, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Melbourne.

"It could develop into a subtropical system. There is over a 50% chance of it developing over a five-day period, probably starting late Friday," Combs said.

The system is expected to move northeast away from the state.

"It is forecast to lift northward and is expected to remain well offshore. There's not really any direct impact but we may well see some strong swells that will lead to hazardous boating conditions for the area," he added.

The center of this tropical or semi-tropical feature and most of the rain are expected to stay east of the U.S., but South Florida could see showers and thunderstorms late this week, according to AccuWeather.

However, there is some indication the system could develop some spin and perhaps give birth to the first depression or even named tropical feature of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, AccuWeather said.

The first tropical system of the 2020 season will be named Arthur.

"I think we are going to be dealing with a non-tropical system that has the potential to transition into a subtropical or weak tropical system this weekend and early next week," said Dan Kottlowski, AccuWeather's top hurricane expert.

J.D. Gallop and Tyler Vazquez contributed to this report.