While you were out running errands Saturday, the first named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season was forming off the coast of South Carolina.
The early formation of Tropical Storm Alberto, 13 days before the official start of the season is a reminder that coastal residents need to be prepared.
A list of preparedness and safety tips at the FEMA blog can help you do just that.
Over at Wunderblog Dr. Jeff Masters places Alberto in historical context:
– Alberto is the earliest-forming tropical storm in the Atlantic since Ana in 2003, which formed on April 21.
– Alberto is one of only three Atlantic tropical storms to form in May in the past 31 years. The others were Tropical Storm Arthur of 2008 and Tropical Storm Arlene of 1981.
Does an early storm point to an active season?
Dr. Masters says not:
Formation of an early season tropical storm from an old frontal boundary, like occurred with Alberto, is not a harbinger of an active hurricane seasonÃ¢â‚¬”itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more of a random occurrence.Ã¢â‚¬
Had Alberto formed in the Caribbean though, the story may have been different indicating instead a busy hurricane season.