Hurricane season officially gets underway on June 1 and runs through November 30th. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this time period is when 97% of all Atlantic tropical cyclones/ hurricanes occur.
Activity tends to increase beginning in mid-August and typically peaks on or around September 10. But it’s not unheard of for a hurricane to form in May or as late as December. In fact, the first Atlantic tropical storm of the 2017 — “Arlene” — swirled out at sea in April, but never made landfall.
Meteorologists are predicting the 2017 season to be an active one. The Farmers’ Almanac is forecasting a threat for a tropical storm or hurricane along the Atlantic Seaboard toward the end of September.
How Do Hurricanes Get Named?
The tradition of weather forecasters giving every tropical storm and hurricane a name began in 1953. Until 1979, those names were exclusively female. Now, they use a six-set list that alternates between male and female names, listed alphabetically and in chronological order, starting with A and omitting Q and U, X, Y, and Z. If more than 21 names are required during a season, NOAA dips into the Greek alphabet as it did a few years ago. Every six years, the names cycle back around and get reused.
If a hurricane does tremendous damage, however, (i.e. Andrew, Camille, Katrina, Sandy), the name is retired, due to sensitivity, and replaced by a different name beginning with the same letter.
The 2017 Atlantic Tropical Storm and Hurricane Names:
• Arlene • Bret Cindy • Don • Emily • Franklin • Gert • Harvey • Irma • Jose • Katia • Lee • Maria • Nate • Ophelia • Philippe • Rina • Sean • Tammy • Vince • Whitney
The 2017 Eastern North Pacific Storm Names:
• Adrian • Beatriz • Calvin • Dora • Eugene • Fernanda • Greg • Hilary • Irwin • Jova • Kenneth • Lidia • Max • Norma • Otis • Pilar • Ramon • Selma • Todd • Veronica • Wiley • Xina • York • Zelda
Are there any folklore sayings “swirling” around hurricanes? We combed through our archives and found the following:
- When a cow carries its tail upright, it is a sign of a coming hurricane.
- When sparrows hide under hedges or roof ledges, a hurricane is coming.
Have you heard any others? Share them with us here!