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When Hurricane Season Starts Early

By Jon Erdman
Published: May 9, 2014

The Meaning of Hurricane Season

Number of Atlantic Basin tropical storms and hurricanes (red) and hurricanes alone (yellow) per 100 years. Those occurring before June 1 are highlighted by yellow box at left. (Image credit: National Hurricane Center)

What does the June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season really mean?

According to Neal Dorst of NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), it is "nothing magical."

June 1-Nov. 30 was selected as the hurricane season to capture 97 percent of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity.  

As you can see in the graph above, named storms, even hurricanes, have developed in the Atlantic Basin before June 1 and after Nov.  30.  All it takes is the right mix of ingredients.

In fact, this occurred not once, but twice in 2012.


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