Tropical Build-Up: NHC watching an area off the East Coast

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Tropical Build-Up: NHC watching an area off the East Coast

Stormy weather off the Bahamas could become a subtropical or tropical storm by Friday and move toward the Southeast coast, federal forecasters said Tuesday.

Even in the absence of a full-blown tropical storm or hurricane, downpours and thunderstorms will increase over the region from The Bahamas westward to the southern Atlantic coast of the United States later this weekend into next week. An update to the forecast is scheduled to be given Wednesday at 4 p.m. "But it's an area to keep an eye on none-the-less".

It's not officially hurricane season yet, but tell that to Mother Nature. Early commercial and academic models runs have indicated this season will be a busy one, and maybe a very busy one. Alex formed over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on 13 January and intensified into a hurricane on the 14 and dissipating on the 15.

At this time, the storm does not appear to be strong enough to become a hurricane, but a named tropical storm is not out of the question yet. "However, a general drift toward the north and west is likely with any storm that forms over the region".

Whether the tropical system forms, showers, and thunderstorms are expected to increase from Florida to the Carolinas later this week and through Memorial Day with increasingly unsafe surf conditions. In fact, Hurricane Alex already formed way back in January, becoming the first January-born hurricane since the 1950s. Tropical Storm Ana formed off the Southeast coast last May before hitting near Myrtle Beach.

But they need warm ocean waters and low wind shear to prosper - ingredients AccuWeather forecasters say are there.

"Movement and development of the system, should it form, will be slow at first", Mr. Kottlowski said.

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