Hurricane Elida spins in Pacific as Tropical Storm Josephine may form

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    A tropical depression formed Tuesday afternoon in the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said. 

    Dubbed Tropical Depression Eleven, the system has winds of 35 mph and is located about 1,450 miles east of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. It’s moving to the west at 16 mph.

    If its sustained winds reach 39 mph, the depression would become Tropical Storm Josephine, which could set a record for the earliest “J” storm.  The current earliest Atlantic “J” storm on record is Jose, which formed Aug. 22, 2005.

    However, even if the system does become a named storm, its lifespan might be short, as weather conditions near the Caribbean are not favorable for storms. This week, two barriers – dry air to the north of the main development zone in the Atlantic and wind shear over the Caribbean – could keep systems at bay or shut them down outside of the tropical sweet spot of the central Atlantic, AccuWeather said.

    But AccuWeather meteorologists are warning of an “explosion” of activity later this month.

    “Beyond the next seven to 10 days, toward the latter part of August, we expect conditions to become less of a deterrent for tropical systems over the Atlantic,” said AccuWeather senior hurricane specialist Dan Kottlowski.

    Hurricane names: With 9 storms so far this hurricane season, what happens if we run out of names?

    Hurricane Elida no threat to land

    In the eastern Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Elida has reached Category 2 strength, the hurricane center said Tuesday. But forecasters said it poses no threat to any land areas.

    Elida’s maximum sustained winds were 100 mph as of Tuesday afternoon, and the storm was centered about 355 miles west of the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula.

    It was expected to remain out to sea while starting to weaken later Tuesday as it moves over cooler waters. 

    Elida is the second hurricane of the eastern Pacific hurricane season, following July’s Hurricane Douglas. 

    More: On the heels of Isaias, forecasters say 10 more hurricanes are likely this season

    Contributing: The Associated Press; Kimberly Miller, The Palm Beach Post

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