Future Hurricane Seasons Could Begin On May 15

 (WPEC) — The World Meteorological Organization meets every year to discuss the previous year’s hurricane season, going over what we’ve learned, what we should change and what hurricane names may be retired from the hurricane lists.

This year, the WMO will meet in Mid-March, and a newly announced agenda item will be the focus for seasons to come. That’s because they’re reviewing proposed changes in starting future Hurricane Seasons on May 15 – about two weeks earlier than the normal June 1 start date.

This change would not impact the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, however.

CBS12 News obtained an Agenda Item from the upcoming WMO meeting in March that has the list of proposed changes to the Hurricane Operational Plan. The changes state –

NOAA/RSMC Miami will determine a quantitative threshold for adding or removing dates from the official Atlantic hurricane season. A team within NOAA/RSMC Miami will then examine the need for any downstream ramifications of potentially moving the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season to 15 May.

Present the findings at a future RA IV Hurricane Committee meeting and gather feedback on the possibility of changing dates of the Atlantic hurricane season.

The changes were submitted by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center Miami (RSMC Miami), who oversee the tropical weather outlooks for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basin.

The reason this proposed action has been made is due to the history of our past nine hurricane season. Out of the last 9 seasons, seven tropical storms have formed between May 15 and the current official start date of June 1.

These out-of-season systems pose issues for those along the coastline, mainly because the National Hurricane Center is still operating on an out-of-season schedule. During hurricane season, the NHC issues regularly scheduled Tropical Weather Outlooks (TWOs) at certain times throughout the day.

During the off-season, however, these Tropical Weather Outlooks are not issued. So any out-of-season system that forms forces the use of a special Tropical Weather Outlook, which can catch many residents off guard.

According to Dennis Feltgen, a communications and public affairs officer for the National Hurricane Center, the NHC issued 36 “special” Tropical Weather Outlooks prior to June 1st during the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

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