Subtropical cyclone Ana to be declared later today?

NHC tracking TWO possible systems


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Of the two systems the National Hurricane Center is tracking, the first one that was declared as an area of investigation Thursday morning is the one that will likely become subtropical storm Ana.

This system is north-northeast of Bermuda and it will likely head out to sea and fade away about as quickly as it appears.

Ana could be one of 13-18 named storms that are being forecasted by NOAA/NHC for the upcoming season. The season -- which doesn’t officially start until June 1.

If you feel like we have seen a number of storms start before the official start date over the past recent hurricane seasons, you would be right. Seven of the past 10 seasons have had at least one pre-season storm. This is way more frequent than the historical average of about one every 7-10 years!

Anyhow, these early season systems/storms are not noted for the damaging winds and storm surge (coastal flooding) but they can be very noteworthy for their heavy rains. Often times, especially in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico (near Houston, Texas), the rainfall can be extreme. This is the location of the second system the National Hurricane Center is watching.

The NOAA Seasonal Forecast is for a much weaker year than last year. But, here is the crazy part, it will still be above normal. A normal year for storms would be 14, their current forecast is for 13-18 named storms, which means we will still likely have a busy year.

Reasons for a less-crazy year include: No more La Nina. This in itself will bring 2020 numbers back down to reality. Recall that last year we had 30, (Yes, you read that right.) 30 named storms. With no La Nina, we will be still above normal, just not supercharged. So that is good news.

Other reasons for a busy season, more than 14 named storms, include another summer with above-normal Atlantic Ocean water temperatures. And the conveyor belt of easterly (wet winds) that come off the coast of Africa, will be very active and that will give the possibility of major hurricanes -- the most destructive and deadly of hurricanes.

Normal would be 14, they are forecast 13-20 named cyclones
Atlantic water temperatures well above normal
Potential for big (wet) disturbances coming off the coast of Africa
1.) No La Nina, better but not great
Is your name on the list?

About the Author:

Our chief meteorologist lives and breathes the weather on the First Coast.