We are one month into 2016's Atlantic Hurricane season, and as you can tell by the chart above, most years we'd still be waiting for our first named storm.
Typically, the first named system in the Atlantic doesn't appear until the second week of July.
But 2016 is already well ahead of the curve, with Tropical Storm Danielle (formed June 14th) becoming the earliest 4th named storm on record.
Although June and July storms do occur, they are less frequent than those that emerge in August and September, and usually (but not always) less powerful. Below you’ll see the the areas that historically have spawned tropical systems in July.
Unlike later in the year when we watch for long-track storms to form in the Cape Verde basin, cyclone genesis is more apt to occur in the shallower, earlier to warm waters, closer to the United States and the Caribbean.
An active early season isn't necessarily predictive of the rest of the season, but the forecast issued in late May by NOAA is to expect a `Near Normal' Atlantic Hurricane Season'.
Reason enough to make your hurricane preparations early, before a storm threatens.
Every year I give hurricane preparedness a prominent place in this blog because more than 50 million Americans live in susceptible coastal areas (along with millions more in other countries).
So, if you haven’t already downloaded the updated Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide, now would be an excellent time to do so. You'll find additional preparedness information in my Hurricane Preparedness 2016 post from last May.
When it comes to getting the latest information on hurricanes, your first stop should always be the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. These are the real experts, and the only ones you should rely on to track and forecast the storm.
And if you are on Twitter, you ought to also follow @FEMA, @CraigatFEMA, @NHC_Atlantic, @NHC_Pacific and @ReadyGov.
While we always hope for a quiet hurricane season (and luckily haven't seen a CAT3+ storm hit the U.S. mainland in more than 10 years), it only takes one reasonably bad storm hitting a vulnerable area to create a disaster.
You can find much more on Hurricane Climatology at NOAA’s Tropical Cyclone Climatology page.