(August 15, 6:15 p.m. EDT) A second storm, Tropical Storm Bill, which is trailing behind Tropical Storm Ana, has become the second named storm of the season. Maximum sustained winds are being reported by the National Hurricane Center at 40 miles per hour, much like Ana, and the storm is currently situated about 820 miles southwest of the Cape Verde islands. Additionally, a tropical storm watch has been issued for St. Maarten and other islands nearby.
(August 15, 11 a.m. EDT) -- The first named storm of the season finally formed early Saturday in the Atlantic Ocean -- more than two months after the official start to 2009's Atlantic Hurricane Season. According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Ana is currently located some 1,000 miles east of the Leeward Islands -- and the storm could reach the Caribbean by early Monday morning.
Maximum sustained winds are being reported at 40 miles per hour, giving Ana the minimum wind speed needed to obtain Tropical Storm status.
As previously reported, experts have been citing the El Nino phenomenon -- the eastern Pacific warm-water phenomenon believed to suppress Atlantic hurricane season activity -- as the potential reason for the slow season, which has been one of the quietest on recent record.
Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes
It's still too early to tell if Tropical Storm Ana will impact cruises, and no itinerary changes have yet been announced.
Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports
Ships from several major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Carnival, are currently in the Caribbean. But again, it's still too early to tell if there'll be an impact on itineraries.
--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor and Kim Kazell, Assistant Editor
Update: Tropical Storms Ana, Bill Become Atlantic Hurricane Season's First Named Storms
August 15, 2009