Whatever else it bodes for the next four months, with the formation of Cindy on Tuesday afternoon, the 2017 tropical storm season in the Atlantic Basin officially is off to a brisk start.
As the name indicates, this is the third named storm of the young season, having reached the 39 mph wind threshold and the appropriate tropical-storm characteristics.
On average, the third storm doesn’t form until July 5 in the basin, which includes the Caribbean and the Gulf.
With its 5 p.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said downpours “could produce life-threatening flash flooding” in the Gulf region.
The storm was nearly stationary, 300 miles south of the Louisiana coast, with peak winds of 45 mph.
It was forecast to move northwest and approach the Louisiana-Texas border early Thursday before making a northeast turn toward the Mississippi Valley.
Meanwhile, well to the south, Cindy’s running mate, Bret, was heading toward Central America but should reach obscurity first.