Atlantic Hurricane Season
MACON, Georgia. (41NBC/WMGT) – Happy Wednesday, middle Georgia. Today is a big day – not only is it Hump Day (woop woop), but it’s also the first day of June and you know what that means… the start of meteorological summer & the Atlantic hurricane season! Wow, that was a mouthful.
Summer doesn’t officially start until June 20th, but today marks the start of what is known as meteorological summer. I get it: this is kind of confusing. Technically, we base the seasons off of the Earth’s tilt and rotation around the Sun, which is why June 20th marks the beginning of astronomical summer. However, meteorological summer is just another way of basing the seasons off of temperature. Typically, the hottest months of the year are June, July and August. Therefore these months are considered summer from a meteorological stand point. The coldest months of the year are December, January and February. These months are considered meteorological winter. Whereas, the other months are considered meteorological fall & spring.
Hasn’t this week sure felt like summer? Yesterday we hit a high of 95 degrees in Macon! Today, temperatures will be similar. Highs will be in the low-mid 90’s. I think 94 is a safe bet for today. Let me remind you that our average for this time of year is 88 degrees. We’ve been well above average for the past week, and we’ll stay that way into the weekend.
A cold front is approaching us from the northwest. Late this weekend it will bring better chances for rain and “cooler” weather. It’ll be cooler than what we’re experiencing this week, but it won’t exactly cool us down too much. Temperatures will drop into the upper 80’s on Sunday.
Now let’s talk hurricanes. Today, June 1st, is the beginning day of the Atlantic hurricane season. As you know, though, we’ve already crossed two names off the list this year. The tropics started activity super early this year – Hurricane Alex made landfall in the Azores on January 15th with 60-65 mph winds. Just this past weekend we had Tropical Storm Bonnie develop over the western Atlantic Ocean, and it made landfall in South Carolina on Sunday with 35 mph winds. There are still 19 names left on the list.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a near-normal hurricane season with a 70% likelihood of 10-16 named storms. Of these 10-16 storms, NOAA predicts that 4-8 could become hurricanes, and 1-4 could possibly be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5 & winds over 111 mph). According to NOAA, the average Atlantic hurricane season has 12 named storms, 6 of which become hurricanes and 3 that develop into major hurricanes. However, this is just a prediction for the season. There are many factors that could change and affect the actual resulting storms produced in the tropics. We will have to wait and see how things play out.
“Near-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Most Likely This Year.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2016.
Dolce, Chris, Jon Erdman, and Linda Lam. “NOAA Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast Issued; Near-Average Season Likely.” The Weather Channel. N.p., 27 May 2016. Web. 01 June 2016.