The first tropical disturbance of the year has formed in the Atlantic, signaling a possible early start to the 2024 hurricane season according to forecasters.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is monitoring an area of low-pressure producing showers and thunderstorms about 900 miles northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. In their latest special tropical weather outlook, the NHC gave the system a low 10% chance of further development over the next 7 days as it tracks southwest into an area of stronger upper-level winds.

While this disturbance is not expected to strengthen into a named storm, its presence in late April is an early sign of potential activity to come.

“This gives an indication that it’s possible to have an early start to the 2024 hurricane season,” the Department of Disaster Management stated, advising residents to begin preparing.

The official 2024 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. However, early development before the seasonal start is not unprecedented, as illustrated by the past two seasons which saw their first named storms form in May.

Officials are urging the public not to let their guard down despite the season’s official June start date.

“Residents are being asked to mindful that the start to the season is fast approaching and it essential to make the necessary preparations early. It is better be proactive rather than reactive”, the DDM said.

Forecasters will continue monitoring the Atlantic basin, with regular tropical weather outlooks resuming on May 15th. The next several weeks will provide greater clarity on whether 2024 could bring another active hurricane season for the Caribbean and United States coastlines.