First TD develops

National Hurricane Center forecasters say the first tropical depression of the Atlantic hurricane season has formed off the North Carolina coast.

The system is forecast to grow into a tropical storm during the next day or so, but will weaken sometime Saturday when it reaches cooler waters.

The season doesn’t officially begin until Monday, but an area of low pressure has strengthened to become the first tropical depression of the year, according to an advisory from the centre. The centre of the system was located about 310 miles south of Providence, R.I. and forecasters began monitoring the system on Wednesday.

The depression is moving northeast at 17 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35mph and that motion is expected to continue during the next 24 to 48 hours, according to the advisory. It is not expected to threaten any land, but officials will monitor its movements.

The storm was expected to strengthen to a tropical storm late Thursday or Friday. If it does become a storm, its name will be Ana.

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