The Atlantic Ocean recorded its first named storm of hurricane season on Saturday after a subtropical storm developed northeast of Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm, Ana, developed well before June 1, when hurricane season begins. It was the seventh year in a row that a named storm developed in the Atlantic before the official start of the season.
Early on Saturday, the storm had winds of up to 45 miles per hour and was slowly moving west at 3 m.p.h. For Subtropical Storm Ana to become a hurricane, it would need to reach wind speeds of up to 74 m.p.h., which is not expected to happen, the Hurricane Center said.
Jack Beven, a senior hurricane specialist with the center, said in a forecast update that Subtropical Storm Ana’s strength was not expected to change during the day on Saturday, and that it would weaken by Saturday night and Sunday.
Subtropical Storm Ana, however, was the first in what is expected to be a busy hurricane season.
The Climate Prediction Center said that the Atlantic could have 13 to 20 named storms this year, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes. Three to five could become major hurricanes, with winds greater than 111 m.p.h. — enough to damage well-built homes, uproot trees and make electricity and water unavailable for days to weeks.
“Although NOAA scientists don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community,” Ben Friedman, the acting administrator of NOAA, the nation’s climate science agency, said this week.
Last year, a record-breaking 30 storms developed in the Atlantic, 13 of which became hurricanes, including six that strengthened into major hurricanes, according to NOAA.
next named storm that develops in the Atlantic this year will be Bill, followed by Claudette.