Tropical Storm Josephine forms in tropical Atlantic, earliest J storm in history

Josephine (far right corner) was 2,400 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras on Thursday. A disturbance just off the coast will bring us increased rain chances into the weekend. [NOAA image]

The earliest stormed named with a J has formed in the tropical Atlantic. While it is not expected to be a threat to the U.S. mainland, the Outer Banks may see some swells as it passes well offshore early next week.

Meanwhile, an unrelated system will bring us showers and thunderstorms with heavy downpours over the next several days.

Tropical Storm Josephine formed about 975 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands on Thursday, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. The storm was moving west-northwest at 15 mph.

Josephine is the earliest tenth tropical storm of record in the Atlantic, with the next earliest tenth storm being Tropical Storm Jose on August 22, 2005.

The latest forecasts and model data indicates Josephine could reach top winds of 60 mph before it runs into less than favorable environmental conditions, and is expected to weaken back to a tropical depression as early as Monday.

Josephine is expected to track between Bermuda and North Carolina next week, and could create some long-period swell for the south-facing beaches and an increased rip current risk.

Closer to home, the combination of an area of disturbed weather just off the coast and a wavy cold front that will stall over the area will bring a mixture of clouds and sunshine along with scattered showers and thunderstorms through the weekend. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall at times.

National Weather Service forecast for Nags Head, as of Thursday 11:30 a.m.:

Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 85. South wind around 11 mph, with gusts as high as 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Showers and thunderstorms likely before 2am, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 76. South wind 7 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. Southwest wind 8 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Friday Night
Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Southwest wind around 9 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 85. North wind 8 to 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Saturday Night
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Sunday Night
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Monday Night
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 74. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 85. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Tuesday Night
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 85. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.