(CNN)After a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season last year, storm forecasting will get off to an earlier start this year thanks to consecutive years of pre-season activity.
At least one named tropical system has formed in the Atlantic prior to June 1 — the official start of the season — every year for the past 6 years.
Because of this, the National Hurricane Center has decided that beginning this year officials there will issue their routine ‘tropical weather outlook’ forecasts starting on May 15, rather than June 1, which is when the season formally begins. That means the June 1 start date now just becomes a formality more than anything else.
The goal is to better serve the communities impacted by early-season tropical systems.
“We are going to issue the Atlantic Outlook, the actual outlook product where you have the blobs on the website, we’re going to start that on May 15th instead of June 1st because we want to make sure we get that information out and start having those areas of concern,” says Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center. “We’re going to do that a little earlier which is a better service.”