NOAA considering shifting start of Atlantic Hurricane Season to before June 1

Tropical Weather Education
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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The official Atlantic Hurricane Season starts June 1 and ends on Nov. 30. Of course, storms can and have formed outside of those dates. According to the Public Affairs Officer at the National Hurricane Center, Dennis Feltgen, in the past decade or so, we have seen storms form before the official start date of June 1. In fact, we have seen a named storm form before June 1 in each of the past six years. Keep in mind, the named storms that form in May are often short-lived and are typically hybrid storms (subtropical). These are now being named and seen in part due to the advancement of technology and some changes in policy that name these subtropical storms.

Typically, NHC starts issuing Tropical Weather Outlooks (TWOs) on June 1 when the official season starts. But according to the NHC, they issued 36 “special” outlooks in 2020 before June 1 to get necessary information to the public. Because of this, NHC will now start issuing Atlantic TWOs on May 15.

As far as moving the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season to May 15 as well, Feltgen sent WKRG News 5 this quote,

“One of the recommendations that was made at the NOAA Hurricane Conference this past December was to assemble a team in 2021 that would include members of NHC, NWS Eastern Region HQ, NWS Southern Region HQ and NWS HQ.  That will likely occur sometime this spring. Considerations for the team would include a determination of a quantitative threshold for adding or removing dates from the official Atlantic hurricane season. Then, an examination would need to take place regarding the need for, and potential ramifications of, potentially moving the beginning of the hurricane season to May 15.  The WMO Region IV committee will also discuss the topic at its annual meeting in mid-March. Regardless, there will be no changes to the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season this year.”

Dennis Felgen, Communications and Public Affairs Officer, NOAA National Hurricane Center

No matter the official start of hurricane season, NOW is the time to prepare.

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