MIAMI – As of 5 a.m. Saturday, the first named storm of the 2021 hurricane season developed. Subtropical storm Ana formed in the Atlantic Ocean early Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Ana was the first named storm in the Atlantic this year, though hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1.
A tropical storm gets a name when its sustained winds reach 39 mph; it becomes a hurricane when its winds reach 74 mph.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), based in Geneva, Switzerland, chooses hurricane names several years in advance. Here is the list of names for the 2021 season:
The 2020 season was so active that it exhausted the regular Atlantic tropical cyclone name lists which repeat every six years unless a storm is so deadly or costly that its name is retired from future lists.
In March, WMO’s Hurricane Committee retired Dorian (2019) and Laura, Eta and Iota (2020) from the rotating lists of Atlantic tropical cyclone names because of the death and destruction they caused.
The Greek alphabet was used for only the second time in 2020. The WMO Hurricane Committee decided that the use of the Greek alphabet created a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and was potentially confusing.
According to WMO, in the event that the list of regular names is exhausted, a new supplemental list will be used.
Ana is spinning near Bermuda, where they are under a tropical storm watch.
Local 10 Weather Authority Meteorologist Brandon Orr said Ana’s impacts will be minimal, but the East Coast could see some larger waves on the shore from the storm.
According to Orr, it is called a subtropical storm because “the ‘sub’ means that it’s not fully tropical, but it has taken on enough tropical characteristics to get a name.”
The National Hurricane Center expects a continued slow and erratic motion through Saturday, followed by a faster northeastward motion on Sunday and Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Little change in the storm’s strength is forecast Saturday and a gradual weakening is expected Saturday and Sunday.
Ana is expected to dissipate in a couple of days.