Over the past 120 years, almost every ocean surface has warmed significantly. And since warm ocean temperatures fuel these tropical systems, the warmer oceans are causing the first-named storm of the season to form earlier and earlier each year.
Data from 50 years ago shows that the earliest-named tropical storm developed in early to mid July, on average. Now, the season’s earliest-named storm is forming by late May -- an incredible shift.
See the data in the video report above.
The warmer ocean temperatures are also causing hurricanes that form in otherwise favorable conditions to become more intense, as you’ve undoubtedly seen in recent years.
We’ve already had our first named storm of 2021: Forming at the end of May, tropical storm Ana dissipated harmlessly in the Atlantic Ocean.
Hurricane season forecast
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released their 2021 hurricane season forecast for the Atlantic -- check it out below.