A weather system that formed hundreds of miles off the North Carolina coast was downgraded from a tropical storm to a post-tropical cyclone late Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm, once the Tropical Storm Bill, developed late Monday before gaining strength as it moved northeast. It was the second-mentioned storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
At 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Bill was located 335 miles east of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, the Hurricane Center said. It was moving northeast at 29 mph and should weaken and dissipate on Wednesday. There were no coastguards or warnings.
Meteorologists also observed a weather disruption in the Gulf of Mexico. It produced showers and thunderstorms over Campeche Bay and southern Mexico, west of the Yucatán Peninsula. This system was expected to move north and likely develop into a tropical depression by the end of the week, bringing heavy rains to the northern Gulf coast.
In late May, the Atlantic recorded its first named storm of hurricane season. Ana, a subtropical storm, developed northeast of Bermuda. It was the seventh year in a row that a named storm developed in the Atlantic ahead of the official season start on June 1.
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict there will be 13 to 20 named storms this year, including six to 10 hurricanes and three to five major category 3 or higher hurricanes in the Atlantic.
Last year there were 30 named storms, including six major hurricanes, which forced meteorologists to deplete the alphabet for a second time and switch to Greek letters. It was the highest number of storms in history, surpassing 28 from 2005, and including the second highest number of hurricanes on record.
Hurricanes become more dangerous and destructive with every season of the year. Climate change leads to stronger storms with heavier rainfall. The storms also tend to dawdle and meander. A combination of rising sea levels and slower storms also leads to higher and more destructive storm surges.
This hurricane season comes because resources are already scarce. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been busy with the migrant crisis along the Mexico border and operates coronavirus vaccination centers in several states and is still managing the recovery from a string of record disasters that began with Hurricane Harvey in 2017. About 4,000 of the agency’s 13,000 or more rescue workers were available to respond to a new disaster, 29 percent fewer than at the start of the hurricane season last year.