Hurricane expert Frank Billingsley examines late-season storm development and what it means for the Atlantic

In this NOAA handout image taken by the GOES satellite at 16:56 UTC: shows Hurricane Ian as it moves toward western Cuba on September 26, 2022 in the Caribbean Sea. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images) (Handout, 2022 NOAA)

In reality, the Atlantic hurricane season doesn’t have a hard stop or start (we’ve seen it last through December and start in January) although generally the warm water fuel for hurricanes is present from June 1st to November 30th. That’s why the ‘season’ is from those dates. Incidentally, we’ve had plenty of tropical storms in May, so I think the season should officially being May 15th like in the Pacific.

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Not withstanding, the National Hurricane Center has been monitoring a disturbance in the Caribbean that appears likely to muscle up to strong tropical storm strength (around 70mph winds) as it moves across southern Cuba and Haiti this weekend. Once over the open Atlantic an even stronger full-blown hurricane is likely.

CREDIT: National Hurricane Center

Here’s the American model:


Given we’ve made it through the “T” storm (TAMMY), we would skip right over “U” to “V”--this one would be VINCE. You can see below that the HOTTEST water is right there where this storm looks to develop, sitting at 86°F (30°C):


And while most of the area has strong winds that would tear up a developing system, there is one area where wind shear is low--I’ve drawn a white arrow pointing that out:

CREDIT: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Direct link:

So, warm water, low wind shear, and a model suggesting development all make a con-VINCING argument for the 60% odds the National Hurricane Center has on this. The Caribbean island chain will brace for strong winds and heavy rain, mud slides and flooding. After this one, it’s looking tropically quiet for the rest of the season (whatever that means, right?).

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Watch our rain today and tomorrow, then we have some pretty nice days ahead!

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About the Authors:

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

Moriah Ballard joined the KPRC 2 digital team in the fall of 2021. Prior to becoming a digital content producer in Southeast Texas and a Houstonian, Moriah was an award-winning radio host in her hometown of Lorain, Ohio and previously worked as a producer/content creator in Cleveland. Her faith, family, and community are her top passions.