Last year a small blob appeared on May 12th. It wasn’t an issue for us, as has been the case for most pre-hurricane season tropical systems. However, something to be mindful of is that there’s no magical hurricane season switch that gets flipped on June first and turned off November 30th. Those dates are somewhat arbitrary.
NOAA has taken that reality to heart as they met with the World Meteorological Organization, to consider moving the “official” start of hurricane season to May 15th. As they make the determination, we still would have had last year’s first system pop up prior to that date.
Here’s the first thing to know about tropical activity during the month of May. It’s common, in fact two years ago our first named storm Andrea, was born in May and we didn’t have any named storms during June. Historically, dating back to the original record keeping in 1851, we’ve averaged about one named storm about every five years during May. That includes 26 tropical storms and four hurricanes. In fact, some years the season kicked off even earlier. We’ve had recorded named storms every month of the year. This includes two hurricanes in January and one in March.
For six consecutive years we’ve had named storms in May. For these reasons, being prepared by mid-May makes as much sense as being prepared in June, regardless of what the meteorological peeps decide. Storms don’t choose specific dates on calendars the way we do. Historically, 2% of named storms and hurricanes happen before hurricane season “officially” starts.
Photo by: NOAA via Getty Images