Tropical Storm Alex could form Friday, impacting NC coast this weekend

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Potential Tropical Cyclone One has formed in the Atlantic and could become Tropical Storm Alex on Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

According to WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner, tropical storm watches are already in effect for parts of Cuba, which was experiencing heavy rain on Friday, and in Florida, where the potential storm could make landfall. The system is expected to impact Florida on Saturday, with heavy rain and strong winds will be likely from central Florida down to Miami.

North Carolina will see few impacts this weekend. Current models show the system staying 250 to 300 miles off the coast, so any impacts to the state would be minimal.

There will be a rip current risk at N.C. beaches between Saturday and Tuesday, Gardner said, but “we probably won’t see much more than that. I wouldn’t expect watches or warnings for the N.C. coast.”

Potential Tropical Cycle 1 track as of 5 a.m. on June 3, 2022

The system is the remnants of Hurricane Agatha, which caused flooding and mudslides that killed at least 11 people and left 20 missing in south Mexico earlier this week.

Tropical alerts as of Friday, June 3, 2022

If our state sees impacts late this week or early next week, it would most likely be high rip current danger. Depending on how close the system tracks to the coast, WRAL meteorologist Kat Campbell said we could see some outer rain bands reach the coast.

“I don’t expect to see them in central North Carolina the way it looks now,” said Campbell.

iControl Radar

The latest report on this year’s hurricane season predicts another above-average number of storms will form in the Atlantic Ocean.

Experts in North Carolina say the report comes as climate change is creating more powerful hurricanes and making their behavior more dangerous as well.

Researchers expect 19 named storms and four major hurricanes to form in the north Atlantic from June to November.