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Scientists eye first tropical system of 2021 hurricane season

The system poses no threat to Florida or the East Coast, scientists said.
Hurricane season has arrived early, once again. The National Hurricane Center is eyeing what could become the first named storm of the 2021 season to the northeast of Bermuda.
Hurricane season has arrived early, once again. The National Hurricane Center is eyeing what could become the first named storm of the 2021 season to the northeast of Bermuda. [ National Hurricane Center ]
Published May 19
Updated May 20

Scientists at the National Hurricane Center are already eyeing what could become the first named storm of the year.

Forecasters on Wednesday gave a system to the northeast of Bermuda a 40 percent chance of becoming a “short-lived subtropical cyclone” by this weekend. It is not expected to pose a threat to Florida or the United States.

The agency said the storm isn’t likely to grow more powerful than a subtropical storm, which has winds up to 40 miles per hour.

While not a threat itself, the storm does serve as a reminder of what is to come: A more-active-than-usual hurricane season in 2021.

Though it’s expected to be a far cry from the record 30 named storms that formed last year, Colorado State University predicts there will be 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes in 2021.

Related: Here are the names Florida will worry about this hurricane season

Colorado State scientists said there is a 45 percent chance a major hurricane will strike Florida or the East Coast this year, and a 44 percent chance of landfall anywhere from the Florida Panhandle to Texas along the Gulf Coast.

The official start date of hurricane season isn’t until June 1. Storms forming ahead of that date have become the norm in recent years, however, with at least one May storm forming in each of the past three years.

If this subtropical storm does reach winds of 40 mph, it would be named Ana.