Wednesday morning, the center recognized a region in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Bermuda, as an area to watch for subtropical development. This weather system has a low, 30%, chance of formation within the next five days. If it becomes a tropical or subtropical storm, it will be named Ana.
The water temperatures are rather cool for a tropical cyclone to form, so if it does form it would likely be categorized as a subtropical cyclone.
Regardless of whether this system becomes a tropical or subtropical cyclone, there will not be significant impacts to land. Passing showers and gusty winds will be possible late in the week and into the weekend for Bermuda.
This chance of development signals that hurricane season is just around the corner and the time to watch the Atlantic Ocean for tropical systems is beginning.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and is six months long, lasting through November 30. In the past five years, however, tropical cyclones have formed before June 1.
“Named storms have formed prior to the official start of the hurricane season in about half of the past 10-15 years, including each of the past six years,” said Dennis Feltgen, communications and public affairs officer at the NHC.
“Many of the May systems are short-lived, hybrid (subtropical) systems that are now being identified because of better monitoring and policy changes that now name subtropical storms,” Feltgen added.
This has prompted the National Hurricane Center to start issuing its Tropical Weather Outlooks on May 15 instead of June 1.
“These outlooks provide a notice alert that NHC is monitoring one or more disturbances that have the potential (low, medium high) for tropical cyclone development during the next 48 hours and five days,” Feltgen told CNN.
The first named storm typically doesn’t form in the Atlantic until July 9, according to the NHC. It’s not until mid-August when the first hurricane usually forms. August, September and October are the most active months for tropical storm and hurricane activity.