Hurricane Season Starts Early?

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May 102007

Hurricane season isn’t supposed to start for a few more weeks, but we already have our first named storm, Andrea.

Andrea formed from a sub-tropical low pressure system off the coast of Georgia, and yesterday winds topped 40 mph, so the storm got a name. While Andrea has pushed tides up about 2 feet along the east coast from South Carolina to Florida, the impact overall will be minimal.

Andrea is a hybrid mixture of a typical tropical storm and a winter low-pressure system, with the strongest winds and heaviest rains well east of its center. When the storm’s winds topped 40 mph Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center gave it a name.

Forecasters at the hurricane center in Miami said the water is too cool for Andrea to gain much strength and that its center should stay offshore before it falls apart by the weekend.

Still, the hurricane center issued a tropical storm watch from Flagler Beach north into Georgia because Andrea could bring winds of 40 mph or more to the coast.

On Wednesday, Andrea had winds of about 45 mph and was moving about 5 mph.

We had an exceptionally quiet hurricane season last year. The long range forecasts aren’t so good for this year, and if we’ve already used up the “A” name for 2007, we could be in for a rough year.