June hurricanes are rare, but not unheard of, in Yucatan

National Weather Center
National Weather Center

Although hurricane season technically started June 1, we have not seen a June hurricane in the past several decades.

But history tells us it’s not completely unheard of. 

Hurricane Agnes, one of the largest June hurricanes on record, developed June 14, 1972. It started as a depression over the Yucatan and moved into the Caribbean Sea. It strengthened to become a tropical storm and then a hurricane as it moved toward the Gulf of Mexico. It weakened quickly after moving into the Florida Panhandle and dissipated on June 25.

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In 1945, an unnamed hurricane swept through the Gulf of Mexico between June 20 and June 27. It started in the western Caribbean Sea as a tropical storm, then moved through the Yucatan Channel and Gulf of Mexico, where it grew. But it weakened before reaching the state’s west coast.

And from June 7 to 14, 1966, Hurricane Alma moved through the Atlantic and into the Gulf of Mexico, but skirted the Yucatan Peninsula. Alma caused excessive rainfall and significant, deadly flooding in Honduras. It went on to hit Cuba as a strong Category 2 hurricane, damaging structures and crops.

Weakening to a tropical storm, it moved through the Florida panhandle and Georgia, but picked up speed and became a hurricane again off the coast of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.

NOAA is predicting a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, and it’s been quiet so far. Nine to 15 named storms, four to eight hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes, are expected. Major hurricanes are category 3, 4 or 5 storms with winds of 179 kph / 111 mph or higher.

We saw our first named storm of the season, Subtropical Storm Andrea, a week before hurricane season began on June 1. But since then, the tropics have been relatively quiet.

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