Norcross: Rushing toward hurricane season with two systems getting organized

Subtropical Storm Ana is likely to form Friday in the Atlantic.
Subtropical Storm Ana is likely to form Friday in the Atlantic.

Mother Nature can’t wait to get going. A giant winter-like low-pressure system in the middle of the Atlantic is developing a quasi-tropical structure around the center. It will likely be named Subtropical Storm Ana at some point Friday.

Meanwhile, a much smaller and weaker system is trying to spin up in the extreme western Gulf of Mexico. It might have just enough time to organize into a tropical depression or tropical storm before it moves over the Texas coastline by early tomorrow.

The huge comma-shaped system to the northeast of Bermuda is a typical Atlantic wintertime storm. It’s big enough, that the west side of the circulation is pulling relatively cool, dry air across the Florida peninsula and South Florida — a bonus break from the humidity this late in May.

The head of the comma, however, has drifted over relatively warm ocean water and is becoming somewhat tropical. We call these systems “subtropical storms.”

Strong winds have already been noted on the north side of the circulation, so the system will jump directly to Subtropical Storm Ana when the National Hurricane Center analysis shows that the center is well organized and has enough tropical characteristics.

Even though the top winds with the system will be quite strong, it is not expected to be a threat to land, except as a giant wavemaker for Bermuda and north along the East Coast of the United States. The jet stream is forecast to pick up the storm and move it out to sea over the weekend.

Overview of the tropics on May 21, 2021.

In the Gulf, a much smaller circulation off the South Texas coast is showing signs of organization as well. It is forecast to be over land by tomorrow, so its window of time to develop is short.

The water in the western Gulf is still quite cool, so the system is not likely to get very strong but could bring some gusty downpours over east Texas tonight and over the weekend.

Gulf tides are already running high, and recent heavy rain has saturated the soil in some areas, so some local flooding is possible.

If the system were to briefly organize with top winds reaching 40 mph, it would be named Bill.

After this little flurry of activity, nothing else seems to be in the offing.

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