After Katrina, all the major news outlets are reporting the start of the Atlantic hurricane season today. None seems to have reported that the East Pacific season began May 15th, which has already seen its first tropical storm. Perhaps Americans really don't care what happens to Mexico?
Again, probably because of increased media interest, this morning's "Tropical Weather Outlook" newsletter had a lot more information than usual:
TODAY MARKS THE FIRST DAY OF THE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON...WHICH
WILL RUN UNTIL NOVEMBER 30TH. THE LIST OF NAMES FOR 2006 IS AS
NAME PRONUNCIATION NAME PRONUNCIATION
ALBERTO AL BAIR- TOE LESLIE
BERYL BER- IL MICHAEL
CHRIS NADEEN NAY DEEN-
ERNESTO ER NES- TOE PATTY
FLORENCE RAFAEL RA FA EL-
HELENE HE LEEN- TONY
ISAAC EYE- ZAK VALERIE
THE GREEK ALPHABET...ALPHA...BETA...GAMMA...ETC...IS USED SHOULD THE
STANDARD LIST OF NAMES BE EXHAUSTED...AS IT WAS LAST YEAR. IN
2005...A RECORD 28 STORMS FORMED...INCLUDING AN UNNAMED OCTOBER
SUBTROPICAL STORM THAT WAS ADDED TO THE OFFICIAL LIST IN APRIL. THE
LONG-TERM AVERAGES FOR THE NUMBER OF NAMED STORMS...HURRICANES...
AND MAJOR HURRICANES ARE 11...6...AND 2...RESPECTIVELY. THE NOAA
SEASONAL OUTLOOK FOR 2006 CALLS FOR ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS OF ACTIVITY.
(I think it's cute how the National Hurricane Center, which has some of the most powerful computers on the planet, still puts out 1970s-era block-letter reports. It's their own form of bureaucratese.)
Keep in mind, November 30th is only a guideline. We had a named Atlantic storm in January this year. In fact, let me make a prediction you can tease me about later: by 2010, the NHC will track the Atlantic hurricane season from May 15th to December 31st, and by 2025, they'll abandon the concept altogether and just start the name list on January 1st each year.