Tropical Storm Debby formed on June 23rd about 220 miles SSE of the mouth of the Mississippi River in the Central Gulf of Mexico. Debby was the 4th named storm to form...making history. It was the first time in recorded history that a 4th named storm has ever formed before July 1st.
Typically, only an average of 1 named storm develops by early July. To add to that, an average hurricane season would usually see its 4th named storm in mid or late August. So, we're definitely off to an active start. However, the forecast is for a near normal 2012 hurricane season according to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administratin). It's forecasting 9-15 named storms. Colorado State forecasters are in the same ball park with an updated forecast of 13 named storms because of the anticipation that EL NINO (warmer than normal eastern tropical Pacific waters) will form. If so, it would lead to increased wind shear in the Atlantic Basin which is not favorable for tropical cyclone development...and would, therefore, slow up the organization of tropical systems toward the end of the season.
But, with 4 storms already registered this season...it's best to just be prepared for whatever should develop. Remember, it only takes one storm to make it the worst season you've ever experienced.
For info on what to put in your Hurricane Supply Kit...or for more info on anything regarding the tropics, check out the Hurricane Center page under The Weather Authority tab on our website. You can also just click this link: http://www.local15tv.com/weather/hurricane/default.aspx
Meteorologist Deitra Tate