HOUSTON (CW39) – After NOAA’s release of their upcoming 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast for an above average season, we are now tracking two areas of potential tropical development. The circulation in the central Atlantic has a higher chance of formation (90%) and will likely become our first named storm, Ana. Impacts will be seen throughout Bermuda over the course of the day today. This will likely also be the 7th early start to hurricane season, where storms develop June 1st, the official start date. Ana is not anticipated to bring impacts to Texas; however, we are keeping our eyes on a developing tropical disturbance in the Gulf, very close to home. There is a disorganized area of enhanced shower and thunderstorm activity which does have a small chance of becoming more organized and propagating northward towards the Texas Gulf Coast. This disturbance will likely go unnamed and only bring impacts in the form of additional rainfall to Southeastern Texas into early next week.
In early season formation of tropical cyclones, the focal reasoning behind the development is slightly different than in peak season. We normally associate tropical storms and hurricanes with warm sea surface temperatures, low vertical wind shear, and waves of activity developing off the coast of Africa. However, in the early season, we normally get stalled fronts and low-pressure systems over the ocean or Gulf of Mexico. If the jet stream is weak, then this thunderstorm activity along theses boundaries has the chance to evolve into areas of concern. Thunderstorms can form giant clusters, feeding into each other, and with a little help from the spin of the earth, can become organized into a tropical disturbance or even tropical storm.