The official start of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is still a little more than a week away, on June 1, but it already has its first named storm.
Ana is currently a tropical storm situated 690 kilometres northeast of Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center's latest update.
Ana is moving northeast near 22 km/h and this direction with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next day or so.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 65 km/h, with higher gusts. Ana is forecast to become post-tropical by Sunday night and dissipate on Monday, posing no threat to land.
ANOTHER ACTIVE SEASON EXPECTED
Though the season hasn't officially started yet, it's actually not unusual to get a named storm in May. There has been an early named storm every year since 2015. That's part of the reason that the NHC is starting their regular forecast updates early this year.
After a record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, with an unprecedented 30 named storms that formed, early predictions from experts at Colorado State University (CSU) signalled another active year ahead.
In the release of the long-range forecast last month, researchers are predicting 17 named storms, up from the average of 12, and eight hurricanes, compared with an average of six. Of those eight hurricanes, four are expected to be "major." The forecast also calls for a higher than average risk of landfalls in coastal areas of the U.S.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its official forecast on Thursday and predicted another above-active Atlantic hurricane season, as well.