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Another year, another May tropical system

Posted at 4:09 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 19:31:35-04

There's a few moments each year that mark the end of one season and the start of another one, the arrival of Christmas commercials, the kick-off of college football, and here in south Louisiana the arrival of the first tropical discussion.

We've arrived at the last one.

The official hurricane season doesn't get started until June 1st in the Atlantic (the Pacific season starts a few weeks earlier in mid May) but for the 8th time since 2010 we're talking about a named storm in May.

A disturbed area in the Florida Keys is starting to show signs of strengthening and their is some model support that would suggest that we may have a named system in the Atlantic over the next couple of days.

This isn't going to have an impact on Acadiana and will stay well out of the region, but it serves as a reminder that even with everything else going on in the world the Gulf Coast is facing another hurricane season.

A named May storm is nothing new since we've been keeping records in the late 1800s there's been a decent number of them, and most of them seem to develop in this part of the world.

What does seem to be changing though is the frequency of a May system developing, which leaves us with the question is the hurricane season arriving earlier?

Since 2010 there has been 8 different tropical systems that have developed in the month of May, and if you stretch that out another few years to 2007 that number increases to 13 named systems.

During that stretch the only years the Atlantic hasn't had a named storm was in the years: 2011, 2014, 2017.

While that may not seem like that many it's by far the highest concentration of tropical systems occurring in May over a 10 year time period, the next closest is the period between 1950 and 1960 when there were 4 of these systems.

It should be noted that technology in discovering and identifying this systems has greatly improved over the years, but even that I don't think would account for what you're seeing with some of these numbers.

Case in point the next highest stretch is during the 1950s, technology then was no where near what it was in the 90s.

It's something to watch and something to think about, while there will be more articles that come out in the coming weeks about the start of the season, the simple truth maybe that the season has already started.

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