June, the first month of meteorological Spring, is also the first month of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Water temperatures across the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean, as well as the Gulf of Mexico continue to inch upwards toward and past the threshold for tropical cyclones to sustain themselves. In addition, the relatively strong wind shear in the middle and upper part of the troposphere from winter and spring seasons relaxes across the tropics.
Despite the increasingly favorable environment for tropical systems to develop, June only showcases a couple of areas that are climatologically favorable for tropical systems to develop. Since 1851, the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico account for fifty five out of seventy nine (55/79) June tropical storms or hurricanes that have been observed. The western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico have the most favorable early season environment of warm water temperatures and relatively low wind shear to support occasional tropical development during the month of June. Notice; however, that even though June is the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, the month only averages about one tropical system every other year. Outside of these two areas, the western Atlantic Ocean bounded by the Southeast U.S. coast, Bermuda, and the Bahamas has seen fourteen named storms out of seventy nine (14/79) since 1851.
The strongest June hurricane on record was destructive category 4 Hurricane Audrey which occurred in the Gulf of Mexico from June 25th-29th. Winds topped 145 mph as the hurricane barreled toward its eventual landfall point between Sabine River and the town of Cameron in southwestern Louisiana. Damage costs were around $157 million dollars (based on 1957 U.S. dollar), and the hurricane took at least 416 lives.
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