Hurricane season historically begins right on time - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Hurricane season historically begins right on time

(Source: AP Graphics) (Source: AP Graphics)
(WTVM) -

If you've ever wondered why hurricane season is from June 1 to Nov. 30, it's because that's the most likely time of year when hurricanes occur. 

That doesn't mean they all do. 

A glance at the history books shows at least two named storms developed in May, Hurricane Able in 1951 and Hurricane Alma in 1970.

Able actually became a major hurricane, a Category 3, with wind speeds of up to 130 miles per hour. Luckily, it didn't hit anything. It just spun around in the Atlantic and eventually weakened into a Tropical Depression.

Alma, on the other hand, did make landfall, but not as a hurricane. By the time it reached the Florida Gulf Coast on May 25, 1970, it had been downgraded to a tropical depression. In fact, Alma was only a hurricane for a few short hours on May 20.

We won't have a Hurricane Ana in 2015, although that's the first name on the alphabetical list of storms. That's because Ana became a Tropical Storm in early May this year, weeks before the season began. Its peak winds topped out at 60 mph, putting it well below the 74 mph required to be called a hurricane.

Bill is the next name on the list and it has a history. 

A strong Hurricane Bill swept the Atlantic coast of the U.S. in August of 2009, killing two people and leaving more than $40 million in damage behind. The storm wasn't deadly enough for the name to be retired. Bill will be back on the list in 2021, as will all of this year's names, provided they don't become devastating hurricanes.

For a look at this year's list, go to the website of the National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml.

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