MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - June 1st marks the start of hurricane season but we have already had our first named storm. Subtropical Storm Andrea formed Monday night in the western Atlantic Ocean and had winds that barely reached 39 mph.
After encountering some cooler water in the Atlantic, the storm dissipated a day later south of Bermuda.
It’s not uncommon for a named storm to form before the start of hurricane season which is June 1 and officially ends Nov. 30.
The past 3 seasons prior, early seasons storms developed ahead of schedule. In 2016 on June 4, Tropical Storm Bonnie formed. In 2017 it was even earlier when Tropical Storm Arlene formed on April 19th and just a few days before hurricane season last year on May 27th, Tropical Storm Alberto formed.
These earlier season storms tend to be more subtropical to tropical storms versus hurricanes. Although there have been years where stronger storms did form usually this isn’t the case because ocean waters haven’t warmed as much early in the season.
Subtropical storms differ from your “typical” tropical system because they are have broader wind fields, strongest winds are not in the center and are not as symmetrical as that of a normal tropical system. Subtropical system are less organized.
A subtropical storm has a less defined and cooler center than a tropical storm and its strongest winds aren’t located in its center.
Last season, 2018, 15 named storms formed in the Atlantic Ocean of the 15, 8 were hurricanes and 2 were major.
The Hurricane Center will issue forecast outlook for the 2019 season on Thursday. Let’s hope this early season storm doesn’t spell an active tropical season.