Come on! Arlene an unusual April tropical storm
Posted 4:39 p.m. Thursday
Updated 5:04 p.m. Thursday
Hurricane season will not officially begin until June 1, but the first named storm of the season formed on Thursday.
Tropical Storm Arlene was named just before 5 p.m. by the National Weather Service's Hurricane Center in Miami.
It was swirling slowly in the mid-Atlantic, moving west-northwest at 25 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.
Researchers at North Carolina State University, in their annual hurricane outlook predicted 11 to 15 tropical storms and hurricanes will form this year in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The 1950 to 2014 average for named storms is 11.
Four to six of those named storms may grow strong enough to become hurricanes, with the possibility of one to three becoming major hurricanes, Lian Xie, professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, said.