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NOAA considers starting Atlantic hurricane season in May

Named storm has formed before June 1 for 6 straight years
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Posted at 5:36 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 19:02:34-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Forecasters are contemplating moving up the start of hurricane season by a few weeks from June 1 to May 15, according to multiple national reports.

Last year's hurricane season was one for the record books with 30 named storms, including 12 making landfall in the U.S.

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Now, a team from the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service will likely discuss the topic this spring, according to a report from the Weather Channel.

"Many of the May systems are short-lived, hybrid (subtropical) systems that are now being identified because of better monitoring and policy changes that now name subtropical storms," the National Hurricane Center said.

The Atlantic hurricane season currently runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

7 named tropical storms in May since 2000
There have been seven named tropical systems in the Atlantic basin in May since 2000.

However, there has been a propensity for a named storm to burgeon in May or even earlier.

Tropical Storm Arthur formed last year off the east coast of Florida on May 16. This was the sixth consecutive year that a named storm formed before June 1.

Tropical Storm Alberto brought heavy rains to Florida in May 2018, dropping close to a foot of rain near Lake Okeechobee.

Tropical Storm Arlene formed in April 2017 and Hurricane Alex formed in January 2016.

With better weather technology, storms continue to be identified easier and at different times of the year because of increased satellites and forecasting.

"Considerations for the team would include a determination of a quantitative threshold for adding or removing dates from the official Atlantic hurricane season," the National Hurricane Center said. "Then, an examination would need to take place regarding the need for, and potential ramifications of, potentially moving the beginning of the hurricane season to May 15. The (World Meteorological Organization) committee will also discuss the topic at its annual meeting in mid-March. Regardless, there will be no changes to the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season this year."

The Pacific hurricane season already starts May 15.

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1:29 PM, Dec 17, 2018

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