Hurrricane Center: Storm system may evolve into 'Alex'

There is a 50-50 chance that a band of low pressure in the Atlantic Ocean will turn into the first tropical storm of the season, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of 2 p.m. EDT, the system, which included showers and thunderstorms, was located about 975 miles south of the southernmost Cape Verde Islands, off the coast of Africa.

"Environmental conditions appear conducive for additional slow development of this system over the next couple of days as it moves west-northwestward or northwestward at 10 to 15 mph," the Hurricane Center said in an advisory.

The Hurricane Center said there was a "moderate," or 50 percent, chance that the system would evolve into the first named storm of the year, Alex.

It also would be a rare tropical event. Only one named storm has formed in the mid-Atlantic in June, Tropical Storm Ana in 1979.

Last year, the first named storm of the Atlantic season, also Tropical Storm Ana, did not form until Aug. 11. In 2008, Tropical Storm Arthur formed May 31, on the eve of the official start of the season.

The official hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 each year.