The hurricane season is only a week old and we have already seen two named storms. Jane Baird of Austin was wondering if this has happened before and does this mean another active season is on the way.
The 2012 hurricane season got off to fast start with tropical storm Alberto forming on May 19th with peak winds near 45 mph. It didn't last long and stayed offshore.
It wasn't the earliest storm. The Groundhog Day storm of 1952 holds the record.
The second storm of the season popped up six days after Alberto. The winds in beryl increased to 70 mph making it strongest storm to hit the U.S. before June 1st.
Since 1851, only two other seasons have had 2 named storms before June. The last one occurred when Theodore Roosevelt was president in 1908.
Even though it has been a quick start, the hurricane center is calling for a 70% chance of a near average season with 9 to 15 named storms and 4 to 8 hurricanes.
They are basing this forecast on the return of El Nino, the warming of the eastern Pacific.
This weather event will lead to more wind shear over the Atlantic basin. Tropical systems have a tougher time forming with stronger upper level winds. Even though the forecast numbers are lower it only takes one major hurricane to hit the U.S. to make it a bad season.
If you have a weather question feel free to email Zack Shields at firstname.lastname@example.org.