A tropical depression emerged off the coast of North Carolina on Monday, with the potential to become the second named storm of a tumultuous Atlantic hurricane season in 2021.
The National Weather Service forecasted that the storm will intensify into a tropical storm by Monday night. That means it will be given a name: Bill.
Tropical Storm Bill
According to the meteorological service, at 11 a.m. Monday, the system, which was approximately 105 miles east of Cape Hatteras, had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. At 21 mph, the system was moving away from the US coast and toward the northeast.
The storm might grow on Tuesday, but it should begin to diminish by Tuesday night and disappear on Wednesday, according to the forecasting agency.
The developing storm should be powerful enough to churn up waves offshore, which might hamper shipping and fishing, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Pydynowski. Eastern Massachusetts, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard may encounter severe surf as the system moves east of New England, he added.
Overall, though, he believes the hazard is low.
"Strong winds associated with a developing southern dip in the jet stream in the Northeast should be enough to keep the system from making landfall in the United States and whisk it away at an accelerating rate through the middle of the week," Pydynowski said.
Tropical Storm Ana
The storm formed two weeks into hurricane season, which lasts through November 30. Ana, the season's first storm, arrived a little early, forming just northeast of Bermuda in late May. Ana only lived for a short time on the other side of the Atlantic.
In 2021, the federal government predicts another busy Atlantic hurricane season, with up to ten storms possible. A normal hurricane season produces seven storms and peaks in August and September. This season might be the sixth straight year of above-normal activity, which would set a new record.
Up to 20 named storms are expected to form this season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including tropical storms with wind speeds of 39 mph or higher. When winds hit 74 mph, storms become hurricanes.
Three to five of the projected storms may be significant, with winds of 111 mph or greater. With 30 named storms, 14 of which intensified into hurricanes, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season established a new record.
As it approaches the Canadian Maritimes, this tropical storm will most certainly move into cooler Atlantic water and dissipate by midweek. Winds are forecast to pick up a little more during Tuesday morning, reaching 50 mph, but the storm should pass by Wednesday.
Tropical forecast models concur (with high confidence) that this storm will continue out in the Atlantic and will not make landfall in the United States in the coming days. Any landfall implications in Eastern Canada will very likely occur later this week.
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