CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Over the last seven years, hurricane season has begun before its official start on June 1.
So is this infamous season now starting earlier? Let's spin up another Weather IQ.
Over 97% of tropical storms and hurricanes occur from June 1 until Nov. 30, AKA, Hurricane Season. But recent years are shifting these numbers.
Nine total named storms have formed early from 2015 to 2021. In 2016, Hurricane Alex formed from Jan. 6 to the 16. This was an anomaly storm that reached hurricane strength briefly before it made landfall as a tropical storm in the Azores.
2016 had two storms form before the season began: Alex and Bonnie
NOTE: These storms will return again this year since this name list is back for 2022. However, Matthew and Otto have been replaced with Martin and Owen after being retired.
Hurricane Preparedness Week: Know your zone, have a plan For more information on hurricane season click here.
Since 1950, only four seasons have had two storms form before June 1951, 2012, the mentioned 2016. And the most active season on record was 2020.
So is the season starting earlier?
The records are saying yes. In the 50-year stretch from 1950 to 2000, Only 10 of those seasons started early. That’s still about 20%. But over the past 21 years, 11 started from January to May. That’s over 50% early starts.
The National Hurricane Center has noticed this and starting the season earlier, is being considered. As of 2021, the NHC now issues tropical weather outlooks two weeks earlier on May 15 to keep us better informed.
But regardless of when these tropical storms and hurricanes form, remember, it only takes one landfall, to make an active season.
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