As Northerners enjoy the warmth of the late spring, those in the southern Atlantic region are looking to the skies, wondering what the 2012 hurricane season will bring.
The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins June 1st
Historically, the Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1st to November 30th. However, Mother Nature is not known for being exactly on time. The Atlantic hurricane season seems to be off to an early start in 2012, as this past weekend, Tropical Storm Alberto buffeted ships before it turned into a tropical depression.
Since 1887, a May hurricane or tropical storm has only occurred 17 times in the Atlantic region, but it’s not unknown. In 2003, Tropical Storm Ana formed in April, surprising residents in hurricane-prone areas and becoming the second earliest Atlantic tropical storm on record.
Hurricane Season: Forecasting the Storm
In 2012, the forecast is for relatively smooth sailing during the hurricane season.
Houston’s Weather Research Center predicts that this year’s season will bring 8 storms, with 5 of them becoming hurricanes over the course of the season. Residents along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Key West, Florida and along the Georgia to North Carolina coast have a 60 percent chance of experiencing a tropical storm or hurricane during the 2012 season. There’s also a 46 percent chance that there will be a Category 3 or stronger hurricane in the Atlantic region this year.
How is it possible to forecast a hurricane? A hurricane is weather, albeit strong and dangerous weather. Through the use of data gathered by satellites, buoys, aircraft and radar, hurricane experts can use computer models to generate a profile of the upcoming hurricane season. However, like all weather forecasts, these hurricane forecasts are educated guesses, so be prepared, just in case.