The first hurricane of 2013 just missed his mark … had he held off for three more hours, he would have officially set a record for being fashionably late. As it stands, Humberto is the second-latest “first hurricane” in history.
As we noted recently, it has been a quiet season in the tropics – which is obviously good news for South Carolina and other coastal states. Humberto is only the eighth named storm of the year. Typically, tropical seasons produce at least twelve named storms, six of which are hurricanes (and three of which are major storms – i.e. category three or stronger).
Those numbers have ramped up in recent years, though.
In 2012 there were 19 named storms including 10 hurricanes – two of which were major storms. There were also 19 named storms in 2011, including seven hurricanes – four of which were major storms. In 2010 there were … you guessed it … 19 named storms including twelve hurricanes, five of which were major.
South Carolina has seen 23 hurricane landfalls since 1893 – the most infamous being Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Fortunately the state has avoided any direct hits from major storms since then, although there have been several close calls – including Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Fortunately for coastal residents, Humberto doesn’t appear to be a threat to land. In fact forecasters are projecting the system to weaken into a tropical storm by Saturday.
We’ll be sure to let you know if that changes …