As far back as May, forecasters were expecting an active season in the tropics. The 2010 hurricane season is halfway over, but if it's anything like the first half, we may have a long way to go.
September 10 marks the halfway point in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 until November 30. Statistically, half of the storms in the Atlantic basin occur before this date, and half occur afterward. So far, nine named storms have formed in the Atlantic in addition to a couple of Depressions that didn't quite make the cut. Several of those storms have already impacted the Lone Star State. Hurricane Alex, the first of the season, and the first June hurricane since 1995. Before South Texas could even catch its breath, Tropical Depression brought another round of flooding to the area. Most recently, Tropical Storm Hermine moved inland in the same area of Northeastern Mexico and caused problems across much of the Lone Star State.
Our part of the state wasn't spared from Hermine. Severe Weather rolled into our neck of the woods, and flooding was a concern along many river banks. We were spared the worst, however. In Waco, 8 inches of rain fell in two days, and flooding was so bad in the Dallas area that several highwater rescues were needed to free people trapped in their cars and homes.
Now on to the second half.
With nine in the first half of the season, that means that 18 should be our magic number this year. That may not play out exactly, but it likely means "there's plenty more where that came from". Igor has just become a Category 1 hurricane and there's now two other areas that the National Hurricane Center says will likely become Tropical Depressions within the next two days, one of which will likely head into the Gulf if it does form.
September is one of the busiest months, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico, so while we haven't seen any of the Major hurricanes hit the area yet, it doesn't mean it can't happen.
While we've been busy in the Gulf with several storms, overall we've been fortunate, as has the East Coast. Hurricanes Danielle and Earl, the two major hurricanes we've had so far remained off the coast, but if weather patterns had been just a little different (especially in the case of Earl, where the eye of the storm missed land by only a few miles) things could have turned out very differently for the Eastern Seaboard. Flooding and high winds did damage, but things could have been worse if Earl had made a direct hit.
Only time will tell what will happen until November comes to a close, but several ingredients are working in favor of a busy finish to the 2010 hurricane season. Record warm temperatures in the Atlantic Basin, La Nina bringing less wind shear to tear storms apart, and the multi-decadal cycle, which has kept things relatively busy for the last few decades.