I got to thinking tonight about the tropics.... and not just the hammock I could be laying on and Pina Colada that I could be sipping (ehem....), but rather about the tropical weather activity! No, not the swaying palm trees in the breeze or miles of sunshine, but the hurricane season!
We have already begun the Atlantic hurricane season with the first 2 named systems down and out with very little fanfare. Looking at the current conditions, there seems to be no immediate threat of any tropical storms or hurricanes. I was wondering if we should be paying more attention to the tropics. Is it normal to have such little activity at this point in the season? Well, actually, yes, its normal.
The "official" start of the Atlantic hurricane season only began on June 1. This is the climatological average date when activity does begin to ramp up. The season peaks in early September.
At this point in the season, there are not "typically" any storms. That said, they certainly can and do happen, but the average date of the first named system should only be expected by early July.
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has forecast a near "normal" tropical season for 2012. This means, they feel confident (about a 70 percent chance) of nine to 15 named storms (with top winds of 39 mph or higher), of which four to eight will strengthen to a hurricane (with top winds of 74 mph or higher) and of those one to three will become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4 or 5). Based on the period 1981-2010, an average season produces 12 named storms with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
For more on hurricane climate information, click here to visit the NHC web site.
For current activity in the Atlantic or the Pacific oceans, click here to go the main web page for NHC.