By David Fleshler
South Florida Sun Sentinel |
May 16, 2020 | 10:56 PM

Tropical Storm Arthur formed Saturday night off the east coast of Florida, becoming the first named storm of the 2020 hurricane season.

The storm, which took shape 16 days before the season’s official June 1 start date, produced winds of 40 mph as it held to a course that could threaten North Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said in an 11 p.m. update.
The storm is expected to strengthen over the next few days, peaking at 60 mph by the middle of next week.

Arthur formed from a broad cluster of clouds around an area of low pressure that drifted through the Florida Straits, subjecting South Florida to a day of rainy, windy weather Friday before heading up the coast.

A tropical storm watch was issued for most of the North Carolina coast, a region that juts into the Atlantic and receives an outsized share of hits from tropical storms and hurricanes. At 11 p.m. the storm was 190 miles east-northeast of Cape Canaveral, moving northeast at 13 mph.