June 1st. The "official" start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season. But time and time again, Mother Nature proves that she won't beat to the drum of a calendar. Last weekend, we saw the quick formation of, a small, Tropical Storm Alberto. As we head into this weekend we are looking at Tropical Storm Beryl being a possibility for areas along the coast from South Carolina to Georgia and even Northern Florida. All of this while parts of Texas flare afternoon highs up to 100° or better and Southwestern Montana faces Winter Storm Warnings for heavy, wet snow. So here's to a crazy end of May weather pattern....
NOAA Releases Their Official Hurricane Season Outlook
NOAA put out their yearly pre-hurricane season forecast calling for " a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this season...[and] a less active season compared to recent years." (see the full article here)
Here's the general break down:
Where that Forecast Could Excel or Fail
Have to admit, when I saw that forecast, Weekend Update from Saturday Night Live popped into my mind. "Really?! Really?"
As mentioned above, here we are a week and some change before hurricane season typically starts to fire up and we are already looking at the possibility of our second named storm of the season.
Couple that with a very warm winter (thanks to La Nina) and water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are the warmest they have been in some years. In fact, the water temperatures found in the Gulf during the transition between March and April were almost at an all time high...ever. Outside of strong wind shear, those open waters are ready to help fuel tropical activity.
Where could this forecast excel, though? While the Gulf waters are super warm, the waters of the Atlantic, that tropical storms and hurricanes usually travel over, are actually COOLER than normal. Meaning any activity that drifts our way from the Atlantic will have a harder time organizing.
El Nino is not out of the question for the late summer, either. El Nino typically means a slow down in tropical development ... and on a better note, a wetter weather pattern for Texas!
All that being said, only time and summer months will tell what is in store for the 2012 hurricane season.
Memorial Day Weekend
As for this Memorial Day -- no tropical weather is in store for the Brazos Valley. In fact, no big changes are really in store for us either. High pressure anchored over the southeastern corner of the country will keep things pretty quiet here at home. Expect morning clouds clearing to mostly sunny skies by afternoon, highs will consistently top off between 90° and 93° along with a breezy wind that will gradually begin to slow down through the course of the weekend.
Memorial Day Monday -- our winds should finally come to rest between 5 and 15 mph. While that will get rid of those pesky, gusty winds, it will allow for the humidity to be really felt in the air. Expect temperatures to remain the same, but heat index ("feels like") values to increase into the mid-to-upper 90s range.
Have a great weekend, be safe and make sure to slap on the sunscreen and drink plenty of water!