HARLINGEN (KVEO) — The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30, and the water temperatures of the Gulf of Mexico are already running above normal. The National Hurricane Center will be keeping an even closer eye over the coming months on the Loop Current.

The Gulf of Mexico Loop Current brings warm water northward from the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico.

The current loops around the Gulf, flows southeastward into the Florida Strait and ultimately joins the Gulf Stream.

The loop current is one of the fastest currents in the Atlantic, traveling at speeds of nearly 2 miles per hour, and is typically about 2,600 feet deep. The setup so far this year is very similar to what we saw back in 2005.

What can happen sometimes, is that a clockwise ring or circulation can break off from the main Loop Current and spin warm water away from the main current. These rings can then be a focal point for rapid intensification of storms in the Gulf of Mexico. And, if a circulation breaks off near the peak of hurricane season, then rapidly intensifying hurricanes can occur as we saw in 2005.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita passed over the same Loop Current circulation in 2005. Katrina and Rita both became category 5 hurricanes in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Harvey passed over one near the Texas coast in 2017.

As we get closer to June 1st, just remember, it “only takes one” hurricane to make the season a memorable one.