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Tropical Storm Wilfred continues to churn in Atlantic


A disturbance AccuWeather meteorologists have been monitoring since it cruised across Africa has become Tropical Storm Wilfred.

Satellite photos from Thursday night indicated a substantial uptick in thunderstorm activity on the eastern side of the system with a trademark high cloud shield overtop of the system.

Just hours later, before 11 a.m. EDT Friday, the NHC confirmed that a low-level circulation had formed, and the system was named Tropical Storm Wilfred, the last designated name on the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season list. It became the earliest 21st-named storm ever to form in the basin, shattering the old record held by Vince of Oct. 8, 2005.

As of 5 a.m. AST Sunday, Wilfred was located about 1,200 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, moving along at a brisk, 16-mph pace. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

A general west to northwest drift is forecast into early week.

This path will put Wilfred in an area of disruptive wind shear. As these strong winds aloft begin to tear away at the storm, weakening of the system is likely.

Wilfred is currently forecast to dissipate well to the east of the Lesser Antilles.

Factoring in the system over the central Atlantic grabbing the last regular name on the list, the alphabetical names for 2020 has been exhausted. The Greek alphabet is now being utilized for additional storms this season.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, AccuWeather meteorologists continue to keep an eye on Tropical Storm Beta, which developed over the western Gulf of Mexico on Friday afternoon, and will bring days of flooding rainfall and gusty winds from Texas to Louisiana. Hurricane Teddy, meanwhile, is expected to approach Atlantic Canada this week.

There is also the chance that Paulette, currently a non-tropical storm over the North Atlantic, re-acquires tropical characteristics near the Azores in the coming days.

AccuWeather is projecting 28 named systems (at least tropical storm strength) this season, which would tie the historic 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.

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