For the seventh year in a row, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to begin early, with two possible hurricanes on the horizon – one in the Atlantic and one in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the National Hurricane Center, one or both of these systems could intensify into a designated subtropical storm on Friday.
One disruption is causing havoc in the central Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda. The National Hurricane Center said it has a 90 percent chance of becoming a named storm in the next 48 hours.
The second disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico could pass inland along the Texas or Louisiana coasts later Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center. For the next 48 hours, it has a 40% risk of becoming a named hurricane.
Ana will be the first storm of the 2021 season, and Bill will be the second.
“Showers and thunderstorms associated with a non-tropical low-pressure area centered about 450 miles east-northeast of Bermuda have become better organized during the past several hours,” the NHC said in an advisory.
“The low has not yet acquired subtropical storm characteristics. However, if current trends continue advisories could be initiated on the system later [Friday] or tonight as it moves westward to west-southwestward to the northeast of Bermuda.”
The center described the Gulf system as a “low-level circulation” associated with a “mid-to-upper-level disturbance,” but shower and thunderstorm activity remained disorganized.
“Environmental conditions are expected to be marginally conducive for development, and a short-lived tropical depression or storm could form before the disturbance moves inland over the northwestern Gulf coast [Friday night],” the NHC said.
The agency said the system could produce heavy rainfall and possible flooding in portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana over the next several days.
If one of the systems gets a name, 2021 will be the seventh straight year to see the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially opens June 1, start early. Since 2015, at least one named storm has developed before June 1 somewhere in the Atlantic Basin.