System in the Atlantic expected to become Tropical Storm Josephine later today, Thursday

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RALEIGH (WTVD) — A tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean is expected to become Tropical Storm Josephine sometime late Wednesday or on Thursday.

Tropical Depression Eleven is currently about 1,220 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands. It’s moving west at 15 miles per hour and is expected to continue gaining strength.

The National Hurricane Center said it currently has sustained winds near 35 miles per hour. With the threshold for a tropical storm being 39 miles per hour, the system is expected to become Tropical Storm Josephine later Wednesday.

If that happens, it would be the earliest J-named storm in recorded history. The previous record was Jose, back on Aug. 22, 2005.

It’s way too early to tell what this system will bring to the continental United States, but it will move into an area that is not conducive to hurricane development over the weekend. That will likely weaken the storm by early next week.

“At this point, I do not think it is going to affect us here in North Carolina, but we’ll watch it,” ABC11 Meteorologist Don “Big Weather” Schwenneker said

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Last week, Hurricane Isaias made landfall in southeastern North Carolina Monday night and deteriorated to a tropical storm. It triggered a string of tornadoes on the east coast, one of which killed two people in Bertie County.

Last week, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration updated its 2020 hurricane season outlook to “extremely active.” In May, the NOAA called for an “above normal” hurricane season.

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