Atlantic Hurricane Season
The Atlantic Hurricane Season starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th
The Atlantic Hurricane Season, which started on June 1, will likely be a busy one for Hurricane Watch Net stations reporting ground truths in real time for use by National Hurricane Center forecasters, and for SKYWARN observers/operators. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has forecast a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 MPH or greater), of which six to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 MPH or greater), including three to five major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5, with winds of 111 MPH or greater) expected. NOAA projects these ranges with a 70% confidence level.
The Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (SSHWS), classifies hurricanes – Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms – into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds.
- Tropical depression: The first stage of a tropical weather event is called a tropical depression. Meteorologists sometimes refer to these formations as a tropical wave, disturbance, feature, system or disturbance. Tropical depressions are cyclones with winds that gust at 38 miles per hour (33 knots) or less. While cyclones aren’t as strong as tropical storms or hurricanes, they can bring significant amounts of rain, thunderstorms and devastating floods.
- Tropical storm: Meteorologists upgrade a tropical depression to a tropical storm when the cyclone’s circulation is more organized and has sustained wind speeds of 39 to 73 miles per hour (34 to 63 knots). Tropical storms produce large amounts of rain, and can cause enough wind and wave activity to damage boats and erode beaches. When a weather event qualifies as a tropical storm, meteorologists categorize it according to the Saffir-Simpson Scale.