Humberto (NOAA)

A mere three hours before it would have become the latest forming hurricane on record (in the satellite era), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded tropical storm Humberto.

Humberto achieved hurricane status at 5 a.m.  The latest forming first hurricane, Gustav, reached the milestone at 8 a.m. on this date in 2002.

Humberto is thus the second latest forming hurricane in the satellite era, which began in 1967. But that ranking is tentative, NHC cautions.

“Keep in mind, NHC always conducts a post-storm analysis of each tropical cyclone,” NHC said on its Facebook page. “Small adjustments on the final positions and intensities are usually made, but sometimes substantial adjustments are made based on information that might not have been available in real time. Thus, the final determination of the time of Humberto’s development into a hurricane will not be made until the post-storm analysis is complete. This could take several weeks to months from now.”

Humberto track (National Hurricane Center) Humberto track (National Hurricane Center)

Humberto, some 340 miles west of the Cape Verde islands, is a minimal hurricane with peak winds of 80 mph.  It is moving north at 9 mph.

The storm is forecast to remain over open water and is no threat to land.

Although the hurricane season has been quiet to date, it shows some modest signs of life.

Elsewhere in the tropics, an area of disturbed weather near the Yucatan Peninsula bears watching.  After it crosses the Yucatan today, it will emerge in the southern Bay of Campeche where conditions will be favorable for development.  Should it develop into a tropical storm, it earns the name Ingrid.

Tropical storm Gabrielle, which swept across Bermuda last night, is on a course towards Nova Scotia but is expected to transition into an post-tropical storm.

For more information on the Yucatan system and Gabrielle, see Brian McNoldy’s post.