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Humberto reaches hurricane status, missing record

By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

11:13 AM EDT, September 11, 2013

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The tropical system known as Humberto reached hurricane force late Tuesday, making it one of the latest first hurricanes of a season in modern history but not setting a record.

Hurricane Humberto had 80 mph winds as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, having surpassed the hurricane-strength minimum of 74 mph hours before.

Had the storm held off on strengthening until after 8 a.m. Wednesday, it would have come later in the season than Gustav in 2002, the latest first hurricane of the season in the satellite era, which began in the 1960s. That storm brushed the Outer Banks of North Carolina and passed off the Delmarva coast.

Records are less solid in the pre-satellite era, but there are at least two seasons that were more remarkable for a lack of hurricanes, however. In 1941, no tropical storms formed until Sept. 11, and the second of the season reached hurricane status Sept. 21.

In 1914, no hurricanes are known to have formed.

While Humberto snapped this season's hurricane-less streak, it is not expected to last long or affect land. It was a few hundred miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, off the coast of West Africa, and was expected to head north and then west into cooler waters in the middle of the Atlantic, weakening.