A-B-C before June 1?

2014 Hurricane Cristobal courtesy NOAA

Here we are the end of May with the official beginning of hurricane season on Monday and we’ve already had two named storms -- Arthur and Bertha -- with a third possible.

The photo above is Cristobal in 2014 and because the list of hurricane names rotates every six years, that C storm is back on the list. Will we have a Cristobal before the weekend is over? Good money says yes:

50% chance of tropical development the next two days
Bermuda would likely NOT be affected by this system

I’ve blogged before about the fact that half the seasons this century have had a tropical storm before June 1, but rarely do you see two storms and very rarely three!

In fact, only 1951 has recorded three tropical or subtropical systems before June 1: one in January, followed by Hurricane Able and a tropical depression in May.

So what did 1951 actually end up looking like? Well, for starters there were 17 depressions, 12 of those became storms, eight of which became hurricanes (three major hurricanes). It was a busy season!

1951 Atlantic hurricane tracks

Note that not one of these storms hit Texas, which is always encouraging and, in fact, what you see over Florida was Hurricane How, but it crossed Florida as a tropical storm so officially there were no hurricane landfalls in the U.S. that year. Fingers crossed, right?

Notably, a January start will make for a long year and the 1951 season didn’t end until December 11th! Certainly one of the longest seasons on record.

So our tropical time is in high gear and we can probably expect it to last a while. The official beginning is still Monday, despite Mother Nature’s best efforts, and to that end, you’re invited to attend a Harris County Zoom Hurricane conference. Just click here for details and how to join.

Have a safe weekend!


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About the Author:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with four decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.