The race is on: Will Humberto break the record or Gustav break Humberto? (UPDATED)

The disturbance off the west coast of Africa that I mentioned earlier is now officially Tropical Depression Number Nine.

It is forecast that Nine will turn into a hurricane in about 72 hours, though one model suggest much sooner.

The last time that no hurricane formed in the Atlantic before September 11th was … well, never (for the period of good records). So if the Nine becomes Humberto (that’s the next name on the list) a little late, on the 12th, Humberto becomes a record storm, of sorts … the first hurricane after the longest delay in the Atlantic. If, however, Nine becomes Humberto on the 10th, which is distinctly possible, then no dice … we have an unusual year but we don’t beat the old record.

But what happens if Humberto forms on the 11th? There’s a pretty darn good chance of that happening.

Well, then, I suppose it will depend on exactly WHEN Humberto becomes a hurricane … or is declared a hurricane?

According to records at the National Weather Service, Gustav, in 2002, was declared a hurricane at the noon update (UTC):

Gust_NHC_Tropical_Cyclone_Report

(And didn’t last long.)

So, what do you think? Will this be a record year or not? Will Humberto displace Gustav? Will Gustav stand? Will they become hurricanes simultaneously (as it were)?

Place your bets here…

UPDATE (9 sept 8:20AM):

The NWS is currently projecting Humberto to become a hurricane on the 11th. Or maybe a tiny bit sooner, but most likely, before noon on the 11th. Here are two projections that are slightly different that came out a few minutes ago:

Tropical_Storm_HUMBERTO

Tropical_Storm_HUMBERTOWindTable

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