Ana was a rule-breaker. The Atlantic Hurricane Season is supposed to start in June. Tropical Storm Ana developed in early May.
Tropical storms are supposed to develop in the tropics. Ana was born north of the tropics. El Niños are supposed to keep tropical storms from developing in the Atlantic. Nothing stopped Ana.
Even Ana’s start was messy. She started as a crazy schizophrenic. Basically, there are two types of storms—tropical and extratropical (cold fronts). Ana was both! Her top, what the satellites could see, looked like a large extratropical thunderstorm. Her bottom was a raging tropical storm! She was a half-and-half, a subtropicalstorm.
Originally, Ana was a southern thunderstorm, raining where a cold front met hot, wet air from the Atlantic. When she finally drifted over the hot Atlantic waters, the bottom of the storm heated. When the hot ocean air started to reach the colder air overhead, it started to act like a tropical storm. The heat rose higher and higher and eventually the thunderstorm turned into a subtropical and then tropical storm. Now she is flowing north and weakening. Eventually she will be cool enough to turn back into an extratropical thunderstorm. Meanwhile, despite some high tide flooding and downed power lines, there have been no reported deaths or injuries. She is doing far less damage than the flurry of tornadoes further west in Oklahoma and Texas.
Ana was just one flower in the bizarre weather bouquet for Mother’s Day. On the same day the US was also hit by hail, snow, flooding, a tornado and a tropical storm. Let this be a warning. The water around North America is as hot as it normally is for June. Having Tropical Storm Ana on Mother’s Day is just the beginning of what will be a very weird summer.