Gonzalo forms in tropical Atlantic, earliest seventh-named storm in history

Gonzalo, in the bottom right, is still well away from the United States. [NOAA image]

A small depression in the tropical Atlantic Ocean was upgraded to Tropical Storm Gonzalo, becoming the earliest seventh-named storm in history.

The National Hurricane Center issued an update advisory on Wednesday at 8 a.m. that satellite data indicated Tropical Depression Seven had strengthened, with sustained winds of 45 mph. Minimum central pressure was estimated at 1003 millibars.

Gonzalo was located about 1,250 miles east of the southern Windward Islands, and roughly 2,500 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, moving west-northwest at 12 mph.

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The previous record for the earliest seventh-named storm was set on July 24, 2005, when Tropical Storm Gert formed in the Bay of Campeche.

That year was the most active on record for the Atlantic basin, and included hurricanes Katrina and Rita that devastated the Gulf coast. But the Outer Banks was spared, with no tropical systems moving through that entire year.

While its been a busy tropical weather season so far in the Atlantic, there has yet to be a system reach hurricane status in 2020.

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