Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Early Tropical Storm Arthur in like Barry

Just like last year, the six-month hurricane season is off to a lightning-quick start.

Fortunately, a fast start does not necessarily mean a busy season.

Arthur, the first named storm of the season, was downgraded to a tropical depression Sunday, the season's first day, after making landfall at the Belize-Mexico border Saturday. It continued to produce heavy rains over parts of Central America and southeastern Mexico on Sunday afternoon.

Rain, heavy at times, could continue in the region for two or three days, but the system is forecast to stay over land, said Richard Knabb, a senior hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The center's computerized hurricane models were in near-unanimous agreement.

It's not unprecedented for tropical systems to form outside the season, which runs through Nov. 30, Knabb said. Between 1851 and 2006, 33 tropical storms formed during off-season months — December to May.

Last year began quickly, too.

First, benign Subtropical Storm Andrea bounced along the Atlantic coast in early May. About three weeks later, Tropical Storm Barry dropped several inches of rain when it made landfall in the Tampa Bay area June 2.

Historically, 79 tropical storms have formed during the month of June. Twenty-eight of those became hurricanes. Sixty-one tropical storms have formed in November, which logs the second-lowest number of storms during seasonal months. Thirty-nine of those have turned into hurricanes.

Compare that with peak season months like August and September. Over the same 155-year period, 344 tropical storms formed during August (with 217 becoming hurricanes) and 459 during September (with 319 becoming hurricanes).

The reason, for the most part, is water temperature. It's often plenty hot in June — the forecast for the Tampa Bay area today calls for temperatures in the low 90s — but it takes a month or two for gulf and Atlantic temperatures to rise to levels favorable to storm formation.

But there's no correlation between how early in the season the first storm strikes and the number, size or strength of storms during a season, Knabb said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this year predicted 12 to 16 named storms in the Atlantic region, including six to nine hurricanes and two to five major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

Early Tropical Storm Arthur in like Barry 06/01/08 [Last modified: Sunday, June 1, 2008 11:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Seminole Heights restaurants face struggles amid killings, post-Irma

    Food & Dining

    SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — The neighborhood's hip circle of popular, well-regarded restaurants is feeling the squeeze in the wake of a recent killing spree. And the timing is rough.

    Ella's American Folk Art Cafe. Times files
  2. St. Pete-Clearwater holding food, supply drive for hurricane refugees

    Airlines

    CLEARWATER — St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are holding a food and supply drive for the Hispanic Outreach Center in Pinellas County. The event, which will benefit refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria, will be held Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the airport at 14700 Terminal Blvd.

    St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are hosting a food and supplies drive Tuesday for refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria. | [Times file photo]
  3. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  4. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.
  5. Tallest building in Pinellas County in search of a new name

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — The name "Priatek" is gone from Pinellas County's tallest building, perhaps to be replaced by that of a much better-known company new to the Tampa Bay area.

    The Priatek name is off of downtown St. Petersburg's tallest building.
 [LARA CERRI  |   Times.  2015]