June 1 marks the beginning of the official Atlantic hurricane season. Early in the season, most storms form in the Caribbean Sea and near North America rather than farther out in the Atlantic, as is the case later in the season. And sure enough, this year we have some signs of development in the Bay of Campeche off the Yucutan Peninsula, according to the National Hurricane Center. However, it is very early in the hurricane season and the likelihood of development remains minimal at this point, although it bears watching. If anything does develop, it would most likely not impact the Southeast until next weekend into the next week, too far ahead to put much credence in the models.
Over the course of the hurricane season, you are likely to hear many people commenting on social media or in the popular press about “this” storm or “that” storm developing and impacting areas of the US. Many of these people are weather “junkies” who have little to no real scientific credentials and are more concerned with sensationalizing the weather rather than providing useful or accurate information. For an excellent blog posting on this topic by Dr. Marshall Shepherd of the UGA Geography Department, click here. He provides a list of trusted and credible sources to check when tropical weather does threaten. Over the course of the next few months I will provide additional sources of information which may be useful when a tropical storm does occur.