CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The National Hurricane Center continues to watch an area of low pressure near the Bahamas that could develop into a named storm over the next few days.
Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh said the system could become “Arthur,” the first named storm of the season.
Walsh said the system is likely to become a tropical or subtropical storm by late Friday or Saturday. The National Hurricane Center has reported an 80 percent chance of formation through the next 48 hours.
It’s currently located near the northwestern Bahamas and is expected to move in a northeastern direction and out to sea.
Thursday night models show the system is expected to bring heavy rainfall to portions of the Florida Keys, southeast Florida and the Bahamas beginning this weekend into next week.
As for the Lowcountry, Walsh said it’s currently not going to be a big factor us.
“The modeling continues to take the storm well to the north and east, and thankfully this is not going to be a problem for us,” Walsh said Thursday night. “And that’s good news, especially as we head into hurricane season”
Named storms forming before the June 1 official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season have not been unheard of over the past several years.
Last year, the first named storm of the season, Subtropical Storm Andrea, also formed before the official start of the season. It formed on May 20 and also stayed out in the ocean and away from the United States.
It was the fifth consecutive year that tropical (or subtropical) activity began before the June 1 start.
In 2018, Tropical Storm Alberto formed on May 25. Tropical Storm Arlene formed on April 19, 2017.
Hurricane Alex, a very unusual January hurricane, formed on Jan. 12, 2016. The second named storm of the 2016 season, Tropical Storm Bonnie, formed on May 27.
Tropical Storm Ana formed on May 8, 2015.
The last time Arthur was used as a storm name, in the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, it did not form until July 1 of that year. It formed east of Florida and made landfall along the North Carolina coast as a Category 2 hurricane but then continued on a northeast path.