Subtropical Storm Ana formed in the Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda on Saturday morning becoming the first named system of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season 10 days before its official start.
The National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. advisory shows Ana located about 340 miles northeast of the island with sustained winds of 45 mph and moving northeast at 12 mph.
“Satellite images indicate that Ana has contracted significantly since yesterday and now has a compact area of moderate convection around the center,” said NHC senior hurricane specialist John Cangialosi.
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, as the Bermuda Weather Service discontinued the tropical storm watch issued yesterday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend out for 60 miles.
“Slight weakening is expected over the next 24 hours and Ana is expected to dissipate by Monday,” Cangialosi said.
Ana will continue to increase its forwarding speed as it moves northeast, but forecasters expect a cold front on Monday to absorb the storm, according to the latest forecast.
The storm is no threat to Florida.
Forecasters have been predicting the formation of Ana for a good part of the week, but also began tracking a system in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday that looked like it might beat the Bermuda system to the punch for the season’s first name.
That well-defined low pressure area moved inland over the Texas coast as of May 22, so the NHC predicted it would no longer form into a tropical system. Forecasters, though, warn the system will still bring heavy rainfall over parts of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.
“Given the complete saturation of soils with ongoing river flooding along the Texas and Louisiana coastal areas, heavy rain could lead to flash, urban, and additional riverine flooding across this region,” Cangialosi said.
The 2021 hurricane season runs from June 1-Nov. 30. The 2020 season saw a record 30 named storms, and also featured two named systems that formed before the official start of the season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its predictions this week for the year, and while still forecast for an above-average hurricane season, its numbers do not approach the highs seen in 2020.
For 2021, the NOAA predicts 13-20 named storms, of which 6-10 would gain hurricane strength, and of those 3-5 would become major hurricanes, Category 3 or higher.