Of course there was the 2005 season when 7 storms had been named already and two, Dennis and Emily, had become major hurricanes. As a matter of fact, Emily was the earliest observed category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic Basin. But 2005 was a stellar hurricane season which set records left and right. It included the likes of Katrina, Rita and Wilma all of which reached category 5 intensity.
With all the early activity that has occurred during the past decade one might believe that this hurricane season is off to a slow start. Looking at the averages though, we find that is not true. If you count up all the named storms during June and July and divide by the total number of years you wind up with a figure slightly less than 2. So you see, the lack of activity this season is not unusual at all.
The latest first named storm in the Atlantic Basin since the 1960s was hurricane Anita in 1977. We can't comment on what happened before the 60s with any level of certainty since there were no satellite pictures back then. Anita developed in the Gulf of Mexico on August 29th and became a hurricane within a couple of days. The storm reached category 5 intensity in the western Gulf of Mexico before slamming into Mexico as a category 3 storm.
The 1992 season was similar in that no storm was named until the middle of August. And yet that one, Hurricane Andrew, became one of the worst ever to hit the United States coastline.
Story by AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist John Kocet.