The Atlantic hurricane season came to life ahead of schedule, with the formation of tropical storm Ana, the first named storm of the year. This is the seventh consecutive year that a storm system has developed before its official June 1 start date. 

Ana developed as a subtropical storm early on May 22 about 200 miles northeast of Bermuda and then transitioned to become a tropical storm on May 23. It, however, dissipated by May 24. 

With one storm already recorded, weather forecasters are expecting to see an active hurricane season once again. This follows the historic 2020 season, which produced a total of 30 named storms – the most on record.

The United States was directly impacted by 12 of those storms, and forecasters had to use Greek alphabets when naming last year’s tropical systems. 

Forecasters have predicted that the 2021 hurricane season will likely result in between 16 and 20 named storms, including 7 to 10 hurricanes. Among these, between three and five are expected to become major hurricanes. 

New research that was published this year by Brian McNoldy, a researcher from the University of Miami, found that there is a new normal for named tropical systems that develop in the Atlantic based on an average of 30 years, ranging from 1991 to 2020. 

When compared to that average, forecasters have indicated that this year is likely to see above-normal tropical activity in the Atlantic. A normal season is said to have a total of 14 storms, 3 major hurricanes, and 7 hurricanes. 

In terms of the total number of storms that will be directly impacting mainland U.S., the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico this year, between three and five are expected, according to weather forecasters – the average number of storms that directly impact the regions is usually 3.5.