Hurricane season could get an early start with development possible in Atlantic this weekend

The past 5 years have brought the first named storm of the hurricane season before June 1st

Hurricane season could get an early start with development possible in Atlantic this weekend
5-Day Development Chances (Source: KPLC)
European Model
European Model (Source: KPLC)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (KPLC) - Hurricane season does not officially begin until June 1, but we may kick things off a little early again this year with a developing storm expected by this weekend near the Bahamas that could take the first name of the season which is Arthur.

The expected development area north of Cuba carries the low close to the southeastern Atlantic coast but never with a direct landfall. This could bring higher tides and rip current risk to the eastern seaboard this week and into next week with some outer rain bands also likely.

American GFS model
American GFS model (Source: KPLC)

It seems to be becoming more common to get storms before the official start date of June 1 although not a sign it will have any bearing on the overall season which historically peaks in the months of August and September. In fact, this would make the sixth hurricane season in a row that the first named storm of the season would have formed before June 1.

If a storm does form this early in the season, it would also historically fall within the geographical area that is looking at the potential for development based on historical data on tropical storm formation in May.

Points of origin for May storms
Points of origin for May storms (Source: NOAA)

In 2015, Tropical Storm Ana formed on May 8 off the coast of the Carolinas, in 2016, Tropical Storm Bonnie developed on May 28, while Tropical Storm Arlene formed in April of 2017.

Meanwhile in 2018, the season kicked off with Tropical Storm Alberto that moved off the Yucatan and later moved into the Gulf making landfall along the Florida Panhandle. 2019 kept the streak alive with Sub-Tropical Storm Andrea that formed in May in the Atlantic. This makes some wonder if hurricane season should officially begin earlier than June 1.

An early start has no bearing on what will happen for the rest of the season, although signs do point to a potentially extremely active Atlantic hurricane season with warmer than normal ocean temperatures and expected light wind shear which would make conditions more conducive in the tropical Atlantic later this year with the onset of a La Nina.

2020 Atlantic hurricane names
2020 Atlantic hurricane names (Source: KPLC)

You can always count on the First Alert Weather Team to keep you informed if a storm poses a threat to Southwest Louisiana, but it’s always a good time just to be ready by getting an emergency kit prepared and go over your hurricane plans just in case there is a threat to our coastline later on this hurricane season which starts June 1 and goes through November 30.

Copyright 2020 KPLC. All rights reserved.