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Seventh year in a row for early start to hurricane season

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 7:36 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - For the seventh year in a row, hurricane season in the Atlantic has begun before the official start date on June First, after subtropical storm Ana formed over the weekend.

WITN Meteorologist Phillip Williams explained, “Ana formed over the weekend, it formed quickly out to sea and then kind of faded away so not affecting any land areas but now Ana is off the list and the next name is Bill coming up this hurricane season.”

Both marine scientists and meteorologists say we’re not only continuing to see storms forming earlier but the number of storms that are forming during the season is increasing.

Dr. Rick Luettich with UNC’s Institute of Marine Sciences says this is a trend we could be seeing for the foreseeable future. “It’s just a constant reminder that our climate is going in a direction where these are more prevalent, stronger, and as a result, if we’re going to live along the coast we need to be prepared.”

Now that we’re just a week away from the official start to the 2021 Hurricane Season, experts at the Hurricane Center have predicted we’ll see an above-average year for activity.

“Their prediction here recently calling for anywhere between 13 and 20 named storms of those 6 to 10 to become Hurricanes and of those 3 to 5 becoming major hurricanes,” said Williams.

Dr. Luettich says part of the reason we’re seeing increasing storm activity is that we are in La Nina conditions, and that coupled with warming ocean temperatures from climate change create a perfect scenario for tropical systems to form.

“Lots of fuel and a warm ocean and nothing that is going to keep the storms from getting started means the likelihood of higher-than-average number of storms this year and then the only question is are they going to come close to the coast or not,” explained Dr. Luettich.

As for residents in Eastern North Carolina, officials say take every storm as it comes and make sure you are prepared no matter what type of hurricane or tropical storm heads our way.

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