HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Tropical Storm Bret developed Monday afternoon, becoming the second named system in 2023's Atlantic hurricane season. While it's not unusual to have tropical systems this time of year, it is unusual where it is.
Based on climatology from previous hurricane seasons, the areas in which we typically see tropical development in June are the Gulf of Mexico and the northwest Caribbean. Tropical systems then can swing up to the Gulf or East Coast.
Where we don't typically see tropical development this early is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in the Main Development Region. This is currently where Tropical Storm Bret is as of Monday afternoon as well as a second tropical wave just behind it. This kind of activity typically doesn't appear until August.
One of the main driving factors for this development is the extremely warm sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic. They are running well above average, near record levels, to be exact. And warm water is just one of the key ingredients needed for hurricanes.
So the key question is this: What does this mean for the rest of the season?
It turns out there is a correlation between early-season development in the deep tropics to a potentially busier hurricane season. Examples of this can be seen through the 1933, 1996, 2008, 2018, and 2021 hurricane seasons.
Keep in mind, though, that this season will also be impacted by an El Niño, where jet streams tend to steer these tropical systems away from us in Texas. So even if there ends up being more storms, it doesn't mean that's a sign of a more intense hurricane season for Houston or the Gulf of Mexico.
So all this being said, it's important to prepare early, well before the storm, and stay prepared throughout the season.
You can stay weather aware by checking ABC13's tropical update page here.
For more tips on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit the National Hurricane Center's website.