Subtropical storm Ana, the first named storm of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season has officially formed. With winds measured at 45mph earlier today, the center of this pre-season storm is located about 180 miles southeast of Myrtle Beach, SC.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Ana is expected to bring heavy rain and gusty winds to parts of both North and South Carolina over the next few days. It will also produce rough surf and dangerous rip currents along the coast.
A subtropical storm is a hybrid of a regular storm, fueled by the clash of warm and cold air, and a tropical storm, powered by the heat and moisture of warm ocean waters. Ana’s hybrid nature means that it has the potential to transition into a fully tropical system, especially as it sits over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. This is why the NHC assigned it a name. In May 2012, this type of transition happened with Tropical Storm Beryl, which was the strongest pre-season tropical cyclone to make landfall in the US.
While pre-season storms tend to occur every five years of so, Ana is the earliest named storm to form in the Atlantic since April 2003 when a tropical storm also named Ana developed. The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1.