Another Atlantic Tropical Record Falls

By , Senior Meteorologist
June 25, 2012; 9:08 PM
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This NOAA satellite image captured Tropical Storm Debby as it was taking shape Saturday afternoon.

The formation of the fourth tropical storm of any Atlantic Hurricane season has never occurred in June -- that was until Tropical Storm Debby took shape.

Debby developed at 5 p.m. EDT Saturday about 220 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

While there is more concern about which part of the Gulf Coast Debby will eventually threaten, the formation of Debby means another broken tropical weather record in less than a week.

"Zombie" Chris started the record-breaking week by becoming the earliest storm to be named north of a latitude parallel to the border of Virginia and North Carolina Tuesday afternoon.

Never before since record-keeping began in 1851 has the fourth tropical storm of any Atlantic Hurricane season been detected before July, a feat Debby achieved this year with a week to spare.

The above typical hurricane frequency chart is definitely not being followed this year.

Dennis came close to breaking that record in 2005, reaching tropical storm status in the eastern Caribbean on July 5.

Forming on July 7, Cindy in 1959 holds the distinction of being the second earliest fourth tropical storm in an Atlantic season. Cindy was not given a "D" name due to it being preceded by an unnamed hurricane.

It should be noted that before weather satellites--the first launched in 1960--became an important observation tool to meteorologists, some tropical storms may have gone undetected.

With an inevitable path toward a part of the Gulf Coast, the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center hopes that the system set to become Debby only breaks a record in regards to its early formation and not loss of lives or destruction.

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