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First named tropical storm could come today or Friday

Posted at 10:30 AM, May 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-07 14:04:27-04

Since the beginning of the week, weather geeks across the country have been eyeing the unorganized grouping of rain and thunder off the Atlantic Coast of Florida.

Will it be the first tropical storm of the season? Will it become Ana, or won't it?

As of Thursday, the National Hurricane Center was giving it a 80-percent chance of becoming a tropical storm by the end of the week.

If this becomes the first named storm of the season, it doesn't look like it'll make landfall anywhere, and the worst thing to happen is likely going to be some rough surf.

So if this storm is going to have little impact on anyone, what's all the fuss about?

The Atlantic hurricane season doesn't officially begin until June 1.

But Mother Nature is a notorious rule breaker — think of all that snow during the first days of spring.

A brief history of premature tropical weather

A tropical storm in May isn't unheard of, but it is a fairly rare event. If Ana is named in the next few days, it'll be the third-earliest tropical storm to form in the Atlantic since records began.

The record goes to another Tropical Storm Ana, which formed in April 2003, and it also holds the distinction of being the only tropical storm to exist in April.

The next earliest tropical storm belongs to 1981's Arlene, which reached tropical storm status on May 6.

Other storms have formed in May, but most of them begin to form at the end of the month and closer to the beginning of the season. Tropical Storm Arthur formed on the last day of May in 2008. And in 2012, there was Tropical Storm Alberto on the 19th and then Beryl on the 26th.

If Ana forms, it'll be in the elite club with only five other tropical storms that formed before June 1.