Tropical Storm Bill becomes 2nd named storm of 2021 Atlantic hurricane season
The second named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season formed several hundred miles off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina on Monday night. The latest storm, Tropical Storm Bill, had rapidly developed into Tropical Depression Two off the coast of North Carolina Monday morning.
The storm was located about 335 miles east of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph at 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). It was racing to the northeast at a forward speed of 29 mph.
As Bill sped northeastward, progressively colder water beneath it led to its demise, and the NHC declared Bill as a non-tropical feature on Tuesday evening.
This satellite image shows Tropical Storm Bill several hundred miles offshore of the U.S. East Coast on Monday night, June 14, 2021. (AccuWeather)
Even though this storm is not a threat to the United States, it will churn up seas offshore, which would be a concern for shipping and fishing interests. As this small system passes just to the east of New England, it is possible that a brief period of rough surf may occur in eastern Massachusetts, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard into Tuesday night.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski attributed the warm waters of the Gulf Stream for nurturing this system this past weekend and helping it to strengthen into a tropical storm.
The life span of Bill as a tropical storm is likely to be short-lived.
"Strong winds associated with a developing southward dip in the jet stream in the Northeast are expected to be enough to prevent landfall in the U.S. and whisk the storm away at increasing speed through the middle of the week," Pydynowski said.
Tropical systems are warm-core storms that need warm water to thrive and help produce towering clouds and thunderstorms near their center. Upwelling or movement over cold water slows and stops this process and causes storms to weaken as a result.
However, the storm may track close enough to Newfoundland, Canada, to bring downpours and breezy conditions as a rainstorm Wednesday.
This storm is following weeks after the first storm of the season, Ana, which developed into a tropical storm just northeast of Bermuda last month and had a brief life span over the middle of the Atlantic.
AccuWeather meteorologists have been keeping a close eye on a few different areas of the basin for development. Since early June, AccuWeather's team of tropical forecasters have been monitoring the possibility of a tropical system to organize in the western Gulf of Mexico during mid-June. Such a system, whether it becomes a named storm or not, could deliver another dose of torrential rain and flooding to part of the upper Gulf Coast, where some areas have received 1-2 feet of rain since early May, and could exacerbate flooding issues.
Beyond that, there are other features AccuWeather meteorologists are keeping close tabs on in the Atlantic basin, which is becoming increasingly active. It is possible that one or two more systems may gather names prior to the end of June. The next two names on the list of tropical storms for 2021 after Bill are Claudette and Danny.
One feature of interest is a disturbance moving westward across the eastern part of the Caribbean as of Monday. This feature is forecast to continue to move slowly westward this week. This disturbance could play a role in sparking development of the western Gulf system at the end of the week.
Another feature is a strong disturbance that moved off the west coast of Africa over the weekend.
"At present course and speed, this system, which could organize and strengthen, would be near the Windward and Leeward islands of the eastern Caribbean this weekend," Pydynowski said.
This feature appeared to be less organized as of Tuesday morning due to an absence of tall thunderstorms it once had on Monday. However, systems such as this tend to go through cycles and further enhancement is possible.
Both systems bear watching even though it is very early for tropical activity in the main season development zone, which is just north of the equator over the Atlantic. This season, known as the Cabo Verde season, named for a group of islands just off the coast of Africa, represents the heart of the Atlantic hurricane season and is most active during the months of August, September and October.
The last system named "Bill" hit Texas as a tropical storm during the third week of June in 2015. That tropical storm caused several fatalities and $36 million in damage in the U.S. due mainly to flooding over the middle of the nation.
Back in August of 2009, Hurricane Bill slammed into Atlantic Canada but created a large zone of heavy seas, pounding surf and beach erosion along the U.S. Atlantic coast. Bill from 2009 contributed to two drownings in the surf in the U.S. Prior to reaching North Atlantic waters, Bill peaked as a 130-mph Category 4 hurricane in the tropics. Bill caused close to $46 million in damage, mostly in Canada, the eastern U.S. and Bermuda.
Last year, the "B" storm, Bertha formed during late May. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season went on to be the busiest on record with 30 named storms.
AccuWeather is predicting that the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will be another busy one, but not quite as hyperactive as 2020. From 16 to 20 named storms are expected with three to five direct impacts on the U.S.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.Report a Typo
Top StoriesMore Stories