Tropical Storm Cindy forms as aggressive start to Atlantic Hurricane Season continues

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Friday, June 23, 2023
Tropical Storm Cindy tracks path toward East Coast
Tropical Storm Cindy is tracking a path toward the East Coast of the United States, but it's unlikely the storm will make landfall.

Tropical Storm Cindy is tracking a path toward the East Coast of the United States, but it's unlikely the storm will make landfall.

The National Hurricane Center placed Cindy about 915 miles east of the Lesser Antilles at 11 a.m. Friday. The tropical storm had sustained winds of 50 miles per hour and was moving west-northwest at 16 miles per hour.

Cindy's projected path takes it northeast of the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. It's expected to be located somewhere between the Bahamas and Bermuda by Wednesday. From there, its path remains too unpredictable.

Tropical Storm Cindy is expected to strengthen slightly over the next day or so, but it will then start to weaken toward the beginning of next week. A front expected to move through the area around the middle of next week will likely keep Cindy out to sea.

The First Alert Weather Team will continue to monitor Cindy and the rest of the tropics to make sure you are the first to know if any tropical systems threaten North Carolina.

As for Tropical Storm Bret, it remains well south of the United States and has begun weakening. Forecasters predict it will dissipate over the Caribbean Sea this weekend without ever making landfall.

Bret and Cindy are historic. The pair represent the first case of two named storms in the tropical Atlantic in June since record keeping began in 1851.

The historic event signals an early and aggressive start to the Atlantic hurricane season that began on June 1 and that usually peaks from mid-August to mid-October. Some forecasters blamed unusually high sea temperatures for the rare development.

"The Atlantic is awfully warm this year," said Kerry Emanuel, a meteorologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, adding that it's partly a result of global warming, natural variability and the ocean's recovering from sulfate aerosols pollution that cooled it decades ago.

Studies show that a warmer world is producing wetter and more intense hurricanes, with scientists still trying to figure out if climate change alters how many storms brew. Because of more early and pre-season storms, the National Hurricane Center has started issuing advisories earlier in the year, with experts recently discussing the idea of declaring the start of the hurricane season earlier.

Emanuel noted that in the entire Atlantic Ocean, not just the tropical Atlantic, it's not unusual to have storms in June. It has happened 34 times - including this year - since 1851, he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.