As of 4 p.m. CDT Thursday, Tropical Storm Arlene was located in the north-central Atlantic about 815 miles west of the Azores and was moving west-northwest at 25 mph.
Arlene is only the second April tropical storm to develop since the birth of the weather satellite era. The storm is expected to dissipate on Friday.
Hurricane season doesn't officially begin until June 1st. In fact, early forecasts suggest the 2017 season will be just below average in terms of the number of storms expected.
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The system transitioned to a fully tropical one on Thursday with satellite imagery showing that it had developed a characteristic "warm core". Experts say El Nino conditions usually result in more wind shear, which cuts down on the number of tropical storms and hurricanes.
The 2017 predictions averaged 12 named storms, five hurricanes and three major hurricanes this year. Tropical Storm Ana formed in May 2015 and Hurricane Alex formed in January 2016.
Arlene with 45 miles per hour winds, is traveling northwestward near 25 miles per hour and will likely be absorbed and dissipated by a much larger frontal trough Friday. Early named storms tell us nothing about the rest of the season.
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Tropical Storm Arlene formed this afternoon from what was sub tropical depression #1, yesterday.
When an area of low pressure forms over waters with sea-surface temperatures of at least 70 degrees, a subtropical low can form.
A subtropical depression or storm exhibits features of both tropical and non-tropical systems. Convection happens further away from the centre of the system than in a tropical storm. "It takes only one storm near you to make this an active season", Bell said.
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