After days of the storm flirting with death or development, the National Hurricane Center pulled the trigger and started issuing advisories on newly-formed Tropical Depression One off the Florida coast. The year's first tropical cyclone in the Atlantic will approach the coastal Carolinas later this week with winds approaching hurricane force.
The NHC says that Tropical Depression One has 35 MPH winds as it drifts to the southwest. They expect the system to turn into Tropical Storm Arthur on Tuesday morning, at which point the tropical storm watches off the coast of Florida will likely be upgraded to tropical storm warnings.
The storm will then start to accelerate as it gets pulled to the north by a dip in the jet stream (called a trough), which will bring it pretty close to the coasts of South and North Carolina. The NHC's 11PM advisory says that the system could teeter on hurricane strength, with winds of 70 MPH, by Thursday evening.
The NHC updates its forecasts every three hours at 2 AM/PM, 5 AM/PM, 8 AM/PM, and 11 AM/PM.
[Image via NHC]