First Named Atlantic Storm Forms Hundreds of Miles From Florida

May 21, 2019 Updated: May 21, 2019

The first named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season formed hundreds of miles east of Florida but weakened to a subtropical depression on May 21.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), in an 11 a.m. update, said Subtropical Depression Andrea weakened from a subtropical storm to a subtropical depression and is “expected to dissipate soon.”

There are no coastal warnings or watches in effect, but interests in Bermuda are expected to monitor the storm.

Andrea is moving toward the north and will move to the northeast later on May 21, the agency said.

“Continued weakening is forecast, and Andrea is expected to degenerate into a remnant low by this evening,” said the NHC.

The official start to the 2019 hurricane season is June 1, and lasts until November.

According to AccuWeather’s Dan Kottlowski, despite the fact that the storm was given a name, it doesn’t have much strength.

“This is going to be a very short-lived storm,” Kottlowski said on the website. “It probably will not survive past Tuesday night and will definitely be moving away from Bermuda by then.”

He said that in Bermuda, there may be gusty winds and heavy rainfall—albeit briefly. However, it won’t be a major problem for the country.

“They have worse winter storms than this will be,” he added.

The hurricane expert said it’s not wise to think it’s a bad omen that Andrea’s formation two weeks before the season officially starts.

“Early-season development like this does not portend what the rest of the hurricane season will bring, especially since this is a weak storm,” Kottlowski stated.

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Michael, center, in the Gulf of Mexico on Oct. 9, 2018. Weather forecasters have posthumously upgraded last fall’s Hurricane Michael from a Category 4 storm to a Category 5. (NOAA via AP)

AccuWeather noted that it’s the fifth year in a row that a named system has formed before the official start date.

The next tropical storm that develops in the Atlantic will be named Barry.

Other names include Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van, and Wendy, said the NHC.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will release its initial outlook for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season on May 23.

Early Forecasts

AccuWeather recently released its forecast for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

The weather forecasting agency said it is forecasting between 12 and 14 tropical storms and hurricanes for the season, which is “near- to slightly above-normal.”

“Of those storms, five to seven are forecast to become hurricanes and two to four are forecast to become major hurricanes,” AccuWeather said.

Last year, the United States was hammered by several tropical storms and hurricanes, including Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence. Michael recently was upgraded to a Category 5 after the National Weather Service analyzed it.

The Weather Channel, meanwhile, released its own forecast, saying there will be 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes for the 2019 seasons.

It noted that it is slightly above the yearly average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

“There is no strong correlation between the number of storms or hurricanes and United States landfalls in any given season. One or more of the 14 named storms predicted to develop this season could hit the U.S., or none could at all. That’s why residents of the coastal United States should prepare each year no matter the forecast,” the outlet wrote.

Highlighting the unpredictability of the storms, “The 1992 season produced only six named storms and one subtropical storm. However, one of those named storms was Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida as a Category 5 hurricane,” the channel noted.