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Hurricane season begins: 'Alex' possible before Florida landfall

Alex is the first name up on the 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Name list.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hurricane season has officially begun and already there are likely chances for storm development. This season is starting late compared to the last seven years that had the first name of the season start before the designated season beginning June 1. 

Tracking The First Disturbance:

Hurricane Agatha was the first named storm of the 2022 Pacific Hurricane Season. It made landfall in Mexico earlier this week before weakening as it moved over the southern part of the country.

Now, the disturbance is moving through the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico as it overspreads Florida with rain and gusty wind.

Credit: WCNC
This tropical disturbance will cross into warm Gulf waters that are 80° or higher

Tropical cyclones need water temperatures to be 80°F or higher down to a depth of 150 feet to form.

Potential Tropical Cyclone #1 is struggling to find its center of circulation (which would classify it as a tropical cyclone). Right now, the disturbance has winds of 40 mph, but the lack of a defined eye keeps it under tropical storm status.

If the storm gets a name, it will be called 'Alex'.

Credit: WCNC Charlotte

Limiting Factors:

Dry air and dust are not much of a factor to limit formation, but there is a fair amount of high wind shear. Wind shear helps rip storms apart by tilting the storm.

Wind shear has kept PTC #1 extremely lopsided.

Regardless of strength, this storm will *NOT* be a major impact on the Carolinas. The worst of the storm will be well off the coast, although dangerous rip currently are likely on Sunday and into next week.

How close the center of circulation is will determine how much rain and cloud cover the Carolina beaches see. Charlotte should be unaffected by this.

History of Alex:

Alex will appear for the 5th time in its history this year. Alex was first introduced as a Tropical Storm in 1998 after it replaced Andrew that was retired in 1992.

Since then, Alex has become a hurricane the last three appearances.

  • 2004: Category 3 (this storm passed the Carolina's Outer Banks)
  • 2010: Category 2
  • 2016: Category 1 (This storm formed in January impacting the Azores)
  • 2022: ?

RELATED: Weather IQ: Is hurricane season starting earlier this year?

Time will tell Wednesday and Thursday what is in store with this storm. 

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