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Tropical Depression Two forms on same day hurricane season begins

The system popped up in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this week and is getting better organized.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — We're not even past the first day of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and already, we may soon have the first named storm of the year.

The National Hurricane Center said late Thursday that a large blob of showers and storms that was centered in the Gulf of Mexico has now become Tropical Depression Two. (The reason it's two, and not one, is that the National Hurricane Center determined a subtropical storm formed in the Atlantic back in January. The assessment was made after the storm dissipated, so it didn't get much coverage when it came and went.)

As for TD Two, the system first started gaining organization earlier this week but has gotten better organized. Right now the storm has maximum sustained winds of 35 miles an hour.

The good news: right now, the storm is not expected to be a threat to South Carolina. In fact, it may not be much of a threat to the U.S. overall.

Current forecast models have the storm continuing to get better organized. It's expected to slowly move over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico but begin a slow southward motion on Friday. By the weekend, it's expected to move past the western store of Florida and eventually into western Cuba or south Florida. 

If it does become a named storm, it would be called Arlene.

The National Hurricane Center says it will continue to monitor the system with aircraft and satellite over the next several days.  

The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1 and lasts until November 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a near-normal hurricane activity for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season with 12 to 17 total named storms. Of those, five to nine could become hurricanes, including one to four major hurricanes which would be category 3, 4, or 5. 


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