As Tropical Storm Barry, the second named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, formed yesterday in the southern Gulf of Mexico, ahead of landfall early todayÃ‚ near the city ofÃ‚ Veracruz, Mexico, we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help but wonder isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it a bit early?
Fortunately, one of our favorite blogs has some interesting facts and statsÃ‚ on early season tropical storms.
Dr. Jeff MastersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Wunderblog tells us that BarryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s formation date of June 19 is a full six weeks earlier than the usual August 1 date of formation of the seasonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s second storm.
Dr. Masters adds that only two hurricane seasons since 1851 have had as many as three tropical storms form in June: 1936 and 1968.
With 10 days left in June, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to wait and see if 2013 joins this list.
As we previously reported, NOAAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting an active or extremely active season this year.
This means there is a 70 percent chance of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including three to six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).
On the eve of the official start of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, we highlight the important work of NOAAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Hurricane Hunters Ã¢â‚¬“ the pilots who fly directly into the eye of the storm.
Data collected during hurricanes by these sensor-packed aircraft and from a variety of other sources are fed into numerical computer models to help forecasters predict how intense a hurricane will be, and when and where it will make landfall.
As forecasts are only as good as the data received, data collected by the Hurricane Hunters help forecasters make accurate predictions during a storm, and help researchers better understand hurricanes and improve their forecast models.
While hurricane season officially starts June 1 and ends on November 30, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important to note that hurricanes donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t always follow the defined calendar. The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season saw the formation of two tropical cyclones Ã¢â‚¬“ Alberto and Beryl Ã¢â‚¬“ in May. This was the first occurrence of two pre-season named storms in the Atlantic basin since 1908.
Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) are monitoring two low pressure systems, one located over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico less than 100 miles from the southwest coast of the Florida peninsulaÃ‚ and another about 820 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands.
The NHC givesÃ‚ each system a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.
NOAA estimates a 70 percent probability of: 14-20 named storms; 8-12 hurricanes, of which 4-6 could be major hurricanes.
NOAA said atmospheric and oceanic conditions now in placeÃ‚ over the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea are very conducive to hurricane formation and it expects these conditions to persist through the season’s peak months of August to October.
So far this season three storms have formed in the Atlantic, including the first June hurricane (Hurricane Alex) to form in more than a decade.