Tropical Depression 1 -- a low-pressure area that developed over South Carolina and moved east into the Atlantic -- is the first named storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Fed by warm waters of the Gulf Stream, the system blossomed into a tropical wave, NASA satellite imagery taken on Monday shows.
The image above, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite, shows the storm off the coast of central Florida.
“The strongest thunderstorms are identified as the highest ones that cast shadows on the clouds below them,” NASA said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the low-pressure area developed into Tropical Depression 1, prompting the National Hurricane Center to issue a Tropical Storm Watch for the east coast of Florida from Fort Pierce to Flagler Beach. At 2 p.m. ET, the storm got a name: Arthur.
The center of the tropical depression is about 95 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral. Maximum sustained winds are 35 knots (40 mph, 65 km/h), with gusts up to 45 knots (50 mph, 85 km/h).
Good thing there are no East Coast spacecraft launches scheduled for today.
The 2014 hurricane season officially began on June 1.
Photo: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team