Tropical Storm Arlene formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday and became the first named storm of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.
Hurricane Hunter aircraft measured sustained winds at around 40 mph and that is what the official National Hurricane Center expected the system’s intensity to peak at.
The NHC previously dubbed this disturbance Invest 91L on Wednesday afternoon and then Tropical Depression Two on Thursday afternoon.
An invest is simply a designation used by the NHC to identify an area of weather that is being investigated for possible tropical development.
A tropical depression is a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds of 38 mph or less.
Where is Arlene?
Arlene is currently located in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, more than 200 miles west of Fort Myers, Florida.
The cyclone is expected to continue to travel southward, over the open Gulf of Mexico, and not directly impact any landmasses as an organized system.
On the expected forecast track, the system or its remnants will parallel the Sunshine State, staying a couple hundred miles offshore.
What is the forecast for Arlene?
Arlene is not expected to strengthen over the weekend and what is left of the cyclone could impact western Cuba by Sunday.
The FOX Forecast Center said the combination of upper levels winds and dry air will be too significant for the cyclone to overcome despite water temperatures being sufficient to support tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico.
An increase in rainfall and winds are expected to impact communities west of Havana.
What are the impacts from Arlene?
Arlene’s track is expected to keep the storm offshore with no direct U.S. impacts. But with its proximity to Florida, occasional surges of moisture could impact counties well south of Interstate 4.
Due to several days of rain in Florida before the formation of Arlene, the National Weather Service office in Miami issued Flood Watches for Miami-Dade, up to West Palm Beach and around Lake Okeechobee.
Forecast warn an additional 1–3 inches of rainfall is possible in South Florida through Sunday.
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