The National Hurricane Center is monitoring an area of disturbed weather south of the central Bahamas this morning. Right now the disturbance consists of showers and thunderstorms that are loosely organized around a broad area of weak surface low pressure...but the disturbance is over relatively warm water with little to no wind shear occurring above it. Slow development will be possible over the next 24-48 hours as the system slowly drifts northward...and an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be investigating the area later today should conditions warrant. If this disturbance becomes a named tropical entity, it will be Tropical Storm Ana.
The hurricane season traditionally starts in the Atlantic Basin on June 1st...about two weeks after it begins in the eastern Pacific Ocean. While named tropical storms are rare prior to the "official" start of the season, they are not unheard of. In fact the last two seasons have featured named tropical systems during the month of May...Tropical Storm Arthur was named on May 31st last year, and Subtropical Storm Ana was named on May 9th in 2007. A tropical storm was actually named during the month of April back in 2003,,,Tropical Storm Ana formed on April 21st.