ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — We’re less than two months away from the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. Since July 12, five named storms have developed this season — only one storm has become a hurricane, which tracked through Virginia.
Elsa became a tropical storm on July 1, making it the earliest forming fifth named Atlantic storm on record. The storm was later upgraded to Hurricane Elsa on July 2 — the first hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic season. Elsa then brought hurricane-force winds to Barbados and St. Lucia that Friday morning. The storm weakened as it entered the Caribbean Sea and impacted parts of Cuba. Elsa briefly strengthened into a hurricane before making landfall as a tropical storm in Taylor County, Fl. on July 7. The tropical storm then traveled northeast along the East Coast, bringing heavy rainfall, severe weather, and tropical-storm-force winds.
Although impacts were not as significant in Southwest and Central Virginia, Tropical Storm Elsa did bring wet weather to the area on Thursday, July 8. The highest rainfall totals were reported in Charlotte and Halifax counties where some spots saw anywhere from 1 – 3 inches of rain.
Elsa formed a few days after the short-lived Tropical Storm Danny impacted portions of South Carolina and Georgia. Danny became a tropical storm on June 28 and made landfall near Hilton Head Island, SC later that day.
The busy hurricane season started on May 22:
- Subtropical Storm Ana formed on May 22. Ana became a tropical storm on May 23.
- Tropical Storm Bill developed on June 13. Bill became a post-tropical storm on June 15.
- Tropical Storm Claudette formed on June 19 and made landfall along the Louisiana coastline later that same day. It dissipated on June 21.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from Jun. 1 through Nov. 30. According to the National Hurricane Center, the typical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is mid-August to late October.