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June 1, 2023
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Disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico could become the first cyclone of the season

A disturbance that forecasters have been watching in the Gulf of Mexico could become the first tropical cyclone of the season, on the first official day of its start, no less.

The National Hurricane Center is watching a disturbance off the west coast of Florida that has become better organized. It has a 70% chance of becoming a tropical system.

Conditions are favorable for further development, and if all remains business as usual, a tropical depression or storm could result as soon as this afternoon.

The low pressure area has a wide, but well-defined circulation, with maximum sustained winds around 35 mph.

Forecasters said shower and thunderstorm activity has also become more organized.

Disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico could become the first cyclone of the season

By the weekend, the system is expected to hit conditions that will make further development difficult as it progresses. Forecasters expect the system to remain offshore over the Gulf.

If the system had a name, it would be called Arlene.

The last time a storm was given a name on the first day of hurricane season was Tropical Storm Barry, in 2007.

Barry shares some similarities with this system. It also formed in the Gulf and dumped some much-needed rainfall on the southeast coast of Florida.

At the time the area was experiencing a drought, just like this year.

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