Tropical Storm Bill: Gulf of Mexico braces for second storm of hurricane season

As per the latest NHC update (at the time of reporting this), the maximum sustained wind was measured at 45 knots or 51.7 miles per hour

                            Tropical Storm Bill: Gulf of Mexico braces for second storm of hurricane season
Tropical Storm Bill's projected trajectory. (National Hurrican Center)

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued advisories for the Gulf of Mexico, the North Atlantic, and the Caribbean regarding the recently upgraded Tropical Storm Bill. The storm reportedly strengthened from a tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina on Monday night, June 14.

It is the second named storm of the North Atlantic hurricane season. But, as per the NHC, it will be a short-lived one and won't cause much damage. As per the latest NHC update (at the time of reporting this), the maximum sustained wind was measured at 45 knots or 51.7 miles per hour. The maximum sustained wind is a common indicator of the intensity of the storm.


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Tropical Storm Bill (National Hurrican Center)

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a one to five ratings based only on a hurricane's maximum sustained wind speed. It estimates potential property damage. The lowest storm rating, which is one, has sustained wind measuring at 74-95 miles per hour or 64-82 knots.

It is classified as “Very dangerous winds will produce some damage,” and estimates that well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roofs, shingles, vinyl siding, and gutters. Large branches of trees can snap, and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. It also predicts extensive damage to power lines and poles that can result in power outages.

Tropical Storm Bill is currently located more than 300 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It was reportedly moving to the northeast at a forward speed of 31 miles per hour. As per AccuWeather, an American media company that provides commercial weather forecasting services worldwide, Bill is unlikely to be a threat to the United States. The company said however that the storm will churn up seas offshore, which is of concern to shipping and fishing interests in those waters. 

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, on Tuesday, June 15, the website predicted. According to its Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski, the warm waters of the Gulf Stream nurtured the tropical depression this past weekend, helping it to strengthen into a tropical storm.

This satellite image shows the newly-formed Tropical Storm Bill several hundred miles offshore of the US East Coast on Monday night, June 14, 2021. (AccuWeather)

The storm is likely to be short-lived, agreed Pyndynowski, adding, "As the system moves farther to the northeast, progressively colder waters beneath it will lead to its demise.”

As per the latest NHC public advisor, "Little change in strength is expected today, followed by gradual weakening tonight and Wednesday morning [June 16] when Bill will be moving over colder water. The system is forecast to become a post-tropical low by tonight and dissipate on Wednesday."

"Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 999 mb (29.50 inches)," the notification added.

On Twitter, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere, shared a video of Bill. “Happy #TimelapseTuesday! Here, we have a loop of the formation of Tropical Storm Bill over the Atlantic spanning from 10:00 a.m. EST on June 13 to 1:00 a.m. EST this morning,” read the tweet along with the scary-looking video of the storm formation.


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