Tropical Storm Josephine expected to form in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday

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RALEIGH (WTVD) — A tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean is expected to strengthen to Tropical Storm Josephine sometime Thursday.

Tropical Depression Eleven is currently about 1,100 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 on Thursday.

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

Whether it becomes Josephine or not, the system is not expected to reach the continental United States.

The storm’s projected path has shifted north. It’s expected to travel north of the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico. Models then turn the system even more north, keeping it out to sea before it dies out as an area of low pressure system around Tuesday.

Storm Ready 2020: Preparing in a Pandemic

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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