Tropical Storm Claudette has this morning formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall in Florida’s panhandle later today NZT. While Claudette isn’t a hurricane her wind speeds equal that of a category one tropical cyclone. (Hurricanes have higher category criteria than tropical cyclones).
It’s one of the latest starts to the Atlantic hurricane season on record but the tropics has roaring into life with three storms forming in less than 48 hours.
On Saturday NZT Tropical Storm Ana formed, with Tropical Storm Bill developing just a few hours later further east. Both storms may impact the United States over the coming days. Bill is most likely to become a hurricane.
Despite the late start to the season it’s worth pointing out that doesn’t mean a quiet season is on the cards. In 1992 a tropical depression formed on August 17th NZT and a week later it hit Florida as a Category 5 monster – this was Hurricane Andrew.