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Slow start to hurricane season isn't indicator of what's ahead

Hurricane season
Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-02 05:51:22-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Tropical Storm Danielle is now on our radar, only the fourth named storm to form this hurricane season.

It's September, yet we've only made it to D on the National Hurricane Center's Atlantic Names list.

Ryan Truchelut, the president of Weather Tiger, a weather company that studies trends in the weather, said it's "great news."

"I'm happy to be discussing a weirdly inactive season rather than a crazy active season," he continued.

The last time we didn't see a single named storm in August was 1997, and the last time we went from the Fourth of July to the end of August without a named storm was 1950.

The previous two hurricane seasons produced a combined 51 named storms. So, what's the reason behind this year's lag?

Truchelut said that while we are seeing warmer water and a La Nina, which typically leads to an active season, other factors aren't favorable for hurricanes.

"All those thunderstorms that are starting to develop around the tropical waves, they're kind of falling apart as they hit that mid-level dry air, and those storms are the building blocks of tropical cycling," he said. "So you're kind of taking away the building blocks."

But just because we're off to a slow start doesn't mean we won't see any storms at all.

"As time moves forward into late September and into October, and particularly for the Florida Gulf Coast, the region we need to watch for is the Gulf of Mexico," Truchelut said.

He also said that there's another trend to watch for. He led a recent study looking into tropical activity before the official start of hurricane season in June.

According to NOAA, preseason storms formed in May every year from 2015 to 2021, hinting at a shift at the beginning of Hurricane Season.

"We found that it's not due to chance alone, and then we also determined that that trend is due to warming of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Western Atlantic, and the Caribbean Sea, where those preseason storms have been forming," he said.

We're only a third of the way through the season and staring at the peak for hurricanes in Florida.

Despite how it started, we all should be prepared for what's ahead.

2022 STORM NAMES

Alex

Bonnie

Colin

Danielle

Earl

Fiona

Gaston

Hermine

Ian

Julia

Karl

Lisa

Martin

Nicole

Owen

Paula

Richard

Shary

Tobia

Virginie

Walter

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Hurricane WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds