By Alton Mitchell
It’s less than a week into the 2016 Hurricane season and LaFayette and Chambers County have already had a brush with its first tropical disturbance of the season. Tropical Storm Colin formed over the weekend and sent rain bands into the Chambers County area on Monday morning, but no damage was reported in the County.
The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season began on June 1st and has already had three named storms. Although of the three named systems two occurred before the official start of the season including a very unusual January Hurricane named Alex that formed during winter. Alex became only the second hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean in the month of January since 1938.
Tropical Storm Bonnie formed near the South Carolina coast the last week of May and pummeled the state with torrential downpours and flooding. Over the first weekend of June Tropical Storm Colin formed in the Gulf of Mexico and began moving northeast towards central Florida. Colin was not a very powerful storm only gaining maximum sustained winds of around 50 mph, but carrying a massive amount of moisture with it. The moisture stretched from southern Florida to our local area.
On Monday some of the far northern bands of the storm reached into East Central Alabama offering areas of Chambers County heavy downpours from the tropical moisture that crept into the local area. There was no damage reported in the area associated with the tropical systems brief brush with the area.
Originally forecasters believed that the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season would be an average one. However due to the ocean phenomenon known as El Nino forecasters left a degree of uncertainty in the air. It appears that uncertainty has shown forth as the initial start of the season has been highly active. The outer bands of Colin that brushed the local area moved out before sunset as Colin raced across Florida heading towards the Atlantic. The remainder of the week looks to carry typical weather patterns and lots of sunshine