Meteorologists urge Houstonians to stay prepared for hurricane season after slow August

Has hurricane season been unusually quiet this month? Compared to years past…the answer is Yes.

In fact, if no systems are named a tropical storm by midnight Wednesday, this would be the third August in the last 70 years without any tropical storms. 

Since 1950, 1961, and 1997 were the only years where there was no activity in August. However, there is a very important lesson to be learned from 1961.

After one hurricane in late July of 1961, there was a lull in all tropical activity for more than a month. The next storm didn't form until September 2, and shortly thereafter came Hurricane Carla. 


On September 11, 1961, Carla slammed into the Texas coast near Port Lavaca with 145 mph winds. A devastating storm surge flooded Galveston and produced a very rare F4 tornado that caused major damage on Galveston Island. The storm resulted in the deaths of 8 people and left 200 more injured. 

US Weather Bureau, 1961

Rainfall was also prolific with 15-17" of rain from Bay City to Galveston.

The following month after Hurricane Carla, Hurricane Hattie destroyed Belize City and forced the country to rebuild its capital city farther inland. Hurricane Hattie was a category 5 hurricane. 


The bottom line is we should remain prepared despite the historically quiet period in the Atlantic we've had so far.