RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — We have learned to expect the unexpected with this year’s tropical hurricane season.
In June, it started off hot with three named storms within the first six weeks of the season, outpacing a normal year by nearly one month.
And then… crickets.
Hurricane season came to an abrupt halt on July 3 and remained quiet until Sept. 1.
This was one of the longest stretches without a named storm on record during the middle of the season.
However, the Atlantic is busy again with several tropical waves and named storms, including Hurricane Fiona and Tropical Storm Gaston.
The next name on the list is “Hermine” (pronounced her-MEEN), that will likely develop by Friday.
If you lived in North Carolina in 2016, you may already be familiar with this name.
Hurricane Hermine actually made landfall in Florida during the first week of Sept., but moved up the east coast and produced heavy rain and gusty winds across the Carolinas.
So why are we expecting another Hermine to develop this week?
Tropical storm and hurricane names are actually already selected well before each season begins.
In fact, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) maintains six separate lists of 21 names to use.
Each list is used once every six years. Therefore, most of the names on the 2022 list have been used multiple times in years past.
The only time a name is actually removed from the list, according to the WMO, is when “a cyclone is particularly deadly or costly, then its name is retired and replaced by another one.”
Meteorologists do this so citizens may not form assumptions about the intensity of a system based on a previous experience involving the same name.
Consider, for instance, residents who survived Hurricane Katrina along the Central Gulf Coast.
If another “Hurricane Katrina” were approaching the same region, it may cause too much unnecessary fear regarding a very different storm.
Looking back over the previous five times Hermine was used during a season to name a tropical storm or hurricane, that system happened to make landfall in each occurrence. Four landfalls were in the United States, and one was in Mexico.
While those previous systems have nothing to do with the next Hermine, forecast models are in rather steady agreement this system may develop in the coming days and make landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast later in the month.
Hermine, as the “H” named storm, would be the eighth named system this year.