Tropical Storm Epsilon spiraled into formation Monday morning in the Atlantic and is forecast to grow into a Category 1 hurricane later this week.
Epsilon was 750 miles southeast of Bermuda and had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. update. Tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 275 miles away from Epsilon’s core.
The storm was drifting north at 2 mph Monday evening after remaining stationary for much of the day, and it is expected to continue to move toward the northwest throughout the rest of the week.
The system has meandered in the mid-Atlantic for several days where tropical conditions are not ideal for the system’s development, However, the storm should pick up speed as vertical wind shear decreases allowing intensification into a Category 1 hurricane by Wednesday as it approaches Bermuda. It is then expected to gain maximum sustained winds speeds up to 90 mph within five days.
Epsilon is the earliest 26th named storm on record, beating out out the previous record of Nov. 22, 2005 by over a month. The record is broken during a season of record breaking, early forming storms, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s database.
Meanwhile, a low-pressure system formed Monday afternoon in the southwestern Caribbean Sea. Upper-level winds are making development difficult. However, development is possible in the later part of the week as the system moves slowly northwestward over the western Caribbean and toward the Yucatan peninsula. The system is expected to bring heavy rainfall to portions of Cuba. The system has a 10% chance of developing over the next five days.
If it does develop, it would be the 27th named storm of the year, and given the Greek letter Zeta as its name.