ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — We are now less than two months away from the peak of hurricane season!
And this is the time of year when tropical activity starts to ramp up. The good news is that tropical development is looking unlikely through the middle of July.
So far this season, we have seen three named storms: Alex, Bonnie and Colin. All of these storms have been on the weaker side remaining tropical storms, which is typical for early-season storms.
We don't average our first hurricane in the Atlantic until August, the 11th to be exact. But that hasn't been the case the last few years. In fact, in the last four hurricane seasons from 2018-21, we have had a hurricane form in the Atlantic in July.
The year 2017 was the last hurricane season with the first hurricane developing at the beginning of August.
The average first major hurricane, a Category 3 or higher, normally develops by the end of August into early September. That has been the case the last few years.
Over the last 5 years, we have seen some very strong and devastating storms from the end of August into early September. In 2021, hurricanes Grace and Ida both reached major hurricane strength toward the end of August.
Hurricane Laura was a major hurricane in late August 2020 and the powerful Category 5 Hurricane Dorian in 2019 rapidly strengthened at the end of August. And many Houston residents will not forget about Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.
You get the idea! Over the last several years, the end of August has been a hot bed for the first major hurricane of the season, with a lot of those causing major damage.
So where do we go from here?
While the short-term forecast is looking very quiet, storm frequency and intensity will pick up through August and into September.
The big takeaway... if you don't have your hurricane preparedness kit ready now is the time to get it together and have a plan in place!