In what is supposed to be the dead of winter for the Northern Hemisphere, the first-ever tropical disturbance to threaten the Florida coast on a Super Bowl Sunday has formed, according to AccuWeather, which said the National Hurricane Center in Miami had been placed on alert.
The first time a tropical disturbance threatened the Atlantic Basin in February was in 1952 when a tropical storm left the Gulf of Mexico and swept across southern Florida with winds of up to 60 miles per hour, according to The Weather Channel
The development was not the first sign of unusual weather in recent weeks. While winter weather has proved deadly in Europe in recent days, the New York City area last month experienced its fifth warmest January on record, The New York Post reported today.
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The disturbance developed in the Yucatan Channel between Cuba and Mexico.
According to AccuWeather, the National Huricane Center has dubbed the weather pattern Invest 90L and has issued a statement saying “this area is being closely monitored for possible further development.”
Jeff Masters, a meteorologist and hurricane expert at Weather Underground, wrote on his blog this evening that the development was “officially nuts.”
Masters gave the disturbance a 20 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm, in which event he said the storm would have winds of above 25 miles per hour and heavy rain.
“I doubt 90L has enough time or favorable enough conditions to become a tropical or subtropical depression, especially considering the disturbance's small size,” wrote Masters, who said he expected storm to merge with a cold front late Monday as it reaches South Florida.
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The Groundhog Day Storm of 1952 is the only Atlantic tropical storm on record for the month of February, according to Masters.
AccuWeather said that should the disturbance become a tropical depression or storm it would acquire the name “Alberto” from this year’s list of storm names it would likely track into South Florida through Monday evening.