The National Hurricane Center yesterday said a low pressure system centered about 500 miles south-southwest of Bermuda has a 30 percent chance of becoming the first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. The official start to the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season is just a week away.

The system is producing a large area of showers and thunderstorms along with gale-force winds, according to an NHC bulletin issued last night. “There is a medium chance of this system becoming a subtropical or tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours,” the NHC said.

By this morning meteorologists at Accuweather.com said they believed the low has little, if any, chance of developing into a true tropical system. The more likely scenario is that it takes on both tropical and non-tropical characteristics, making it a “hybrid” storm. Hybrid systems can be named as subtropical storms or depressions.

However, Accuweather.com observed that whether the system develops into a pre-season tropical storm or not, it will have some impact on the southeastern United States as it continues its trek northwestward through midweek.

Forecasters have said they expect this year’s hurricane season will see above-average activity with as many as 18 named storms possible. Updated forecasts for the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season are expected from forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project and others in the next few days. Check out I.I.I. facts and stats on hurricanes.