A Slower Start...

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To the tropical weather season, as compared to last year and to 2003, but it's really not so unusual in the overall scheme of things that we've made it to July 17th with only one named storm so far this year, that being Alberto back in June.

The situation was very different a year ago, of course, as we got the season off to a jackrabbit start that eventually culminated in a historic total of 28 storms that were named (or could have been, in the case of the "unnamed subtropical storm"). By this date in 2005, we'd already seen tropical storms Arlene and Bret, Hurricane Cindy, and category 4 monsters Dennis and Emily.

If the comparison to last year makes it seem we're off to a slow start this season, you only have to look back a few more years to realize that in a historical sense we're really not, and that there's a fair amount of year-to-year variability in how fast the storms come along early in the season. Both 2001 and 2002 featured only one storm each by this date (Arthur and Allison), and in 2004 not a single storm had been named as of July 17th. On the other hand, in 2003 Hurricane Danny had already come into being by this point. There is a very handy hurricane archive page for checking these kinds of records available here, and of course you can check out some historically important storms through our own Hurricane Tracker.