|Hurricane season started with a bang Thursday, as the low-pressure system sitting just below Alabama’s coast slowed down and became a tropical depression.
The National Hurricane Center said the system became a tropical depression at 4 p.m. Thursday, when its wind speeds reached 38 mph. That made it the second tropical cyclone of the year.
Forecasters predict it will be a short-lived storm that will approach the Florida peninsula and then move southward, remaining offshore.
A storm system becomes a tropical depression when its wind speeds reach 38 mph, but isn’t a tropical storm until wind speeds reach 39 mph. If its wind speeds grow by 1 mph, the depression will become Tropical Storm Arlene.
Hurricane season started Thursday and runs through Nov. 30. The NHC forecasted in May that the season will have “near-normal” activity, with up to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes.
With the start of hurricane season upon us, here are 5 steps you can take to prepare: