Happy Hurricane Season

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As if to announce today's June 1 date, Tropical Storm Barry just formed--unexpectedly--in the Gulf, and may now be intensifying over the infamous warm Loop Current. Neither Jeff Masters nor the official forecasters think Barry is going to become a hurricane before reaching Florida, however. The National Hurricane Center puts the storm's intensity at 40 knots, though Masters thinks it's stronger than that.

Masters also makes this interesting observation:

The hurricane season of 2007 is in second place for the earliest year that the second named storm occurred. The record is held by 1887, when the second named storm formed on May 17. Third place is held by 1934, when the second storm of the year formed on June 4. The second storm of 1934 was also the worst June hurricane on record. It hit Central America as a Category 1 hurricane, dropping up to 25 inches of rain on Honduras, triggering landslides that killed 3,000 people.

There is no relationship between high activity early in hurricane season and high activity during the main August-October peak of the season. For example, the 1934 hurricane season turned out to be an ordinary season with 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and no intense hurricanes.

I'm not surprised to hear that there's no relationship here....but at the same time, I also remember last year, when Atlantic storms really struggled to form and develop. This year, by contrast, they're popping up suddenly where we don't expect them. I don't know....something feels different about the way the atmosphere-ocean system is behaving this time around.

That's all I'll say at this point.

MEANWHILE: After a weakening phase, Tropical Storm Barbara is back and may soon hit Mexico. The question is how strong this one can get before landfall. It's over warm water with low shear....

And finally, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center is now tracking a storm in a place where I have not seen one appear since I became a hurricane junkie: The Arabian Sea. I'll be keeping an eye on that one as well....

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I saw your talk with Matt Nisbet and it's great information. That's what lead me to your blog which I will be adding to my blogroll. I'm running for Congress though not officially just yet. We're still in the planning stages and gathering resources. Your blog will be one of them. Good stuff.

Related to hurricane seasons, I'm only an electrical engineer but last year's relative weak season and storms felt to my untrained mind to be the result of the previous years draining of a lot of available energy. In fact, taken as a whole that draining of energy preceded the cold but dry winter we had in Ca this past winter when we had more cold frost days that killed a lot of the nats that we have. I'm not correlating them. I'm only making the observation.

Thanks, Ron. Keep us informed about your run!

A chief cause of the slow year last year--slow in the Atlantic, that is--was the rapid development of El Nino.