The Atlantic hurricane season kicks off today. And considering what’s happened meteorologically so far this year, the advent of the season may be viewed with trepidation by many, especially those who live and vacation along the Gulf and East Coasts.

Typically, the season doesn’t offer much of excitement or danger until August. June storms, what relatively few spring to life, usually develop in the Gulf of Mexico and western Caribbean Sea.

Often, June remains devoid of the whirling dervishes. Except in active seasons. And this–ahem–is predicted to be an active season. As if to underscore that outlook, several of the global weather models suggest that a broad low pressure area may spin up over the western or central Caribbean within the next several days.

In the meantime, a small low pressure area accompanied by a cluster of thunderstorms is centered just east of northern Florida and is moving toward the west-southwest. Conditions, however, are only marginally favorable for further development.

June storms, by the way, are rarely major. One notable exception was the deadly and destructive Hurricane Audrey that slammed into extreme southwest Louisiana in 1957.

And in June 1972, a minor hurricane in terms of wind, Agnes, unleashed unprecedented rains and flooding on the Northeast.

June hurricanes and tropical storms, if they occur, usually direct their saber rattling at the Gulf Coast (see image).

If you’d like to keep apprised on a daily basis of what’s stirring in the tropics, here are several excellent sources: The National Hurricane Center, The Weather Channel and Tropical

So we’re off and running. “Arlene” will bat lead off with “Bret” on deck. The J-storm this year will not be “Janet,” the fictional monster in my novel EYEWALL, but “Jose,” whom I hope will be much more benign than Janet… and not licking its chops over the Georgia coast.

IMAGE: Climatological tracks of June storms and hurricanes (graphic from National Hurricane Center).

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