June 1 may just seem like another day on the calendar but it`s a rather significant day in the world of meteorologist. That day marks the start of hurricane season, which last until November 30.
Typically for tropical activity to develop you need a key ingredient in warm ocean waters - around 80 degrees and higher. The warm ocean water serves as fuel for the storm much like gasoline does for a vehicle.
The months of August and September are when we see the most activity in the tropics because the ocean has had ample time to warm-up. We see a significant drop-off for the final two months of October and November as we see less daylight as the sun angle gets lower.
So why is it that with no ocean surrounding the Mid-State we would be concerned with tropical activity? It`s because we are close enough to experience storm impact from tropical storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico!
Tropical systems are massive. To put it into better perspective, think of it this way - a large tornado is one that`s a mile wide, but a small tropical storm or hurricane can be a couple of hundred miles wide!
As these systems approach the coastline they can user in tropical moisture that can cover hundreds of miles making it feel very humid. While we are used to humidity in the Mid-South there is a noticeable difference in the thickness of humidity when associated with a tropical system.
Some systems move far enough inland that we experience outer rain bands of the tropical storm or hurricane that can drop heavy rain on areas.
So while we`ll never have to worry about a tropical system making landfall in the Mid-South, we always need to be mindful of the storms track as it could bring bad weather to our area.