The news of tropical systems are making their rounds across social media as there are 3 systems that are currently being tracked and all will have impacts on land. Before hurricane season started, tropical season forecasts were put out by the NHC, CSU and other well-respected entities. The main theme? An active season is approaching.
Fast forward to now when we are on our “G” named storm with the “H” storm not far behind. Out of the 7 named storms we currently have, 4 of them formed earlier than any of their counterparts in other years. If our “H” storm gets named any time before August 3rd, that trend will continue.
Looking at the above image, 2005 stands out. 2005 was of course one of the most active tropical years we have ever seen. It was the year that brought Irene, Katrina, Wilma and 6 greek alphabet storms. 2020 has a long way to go to catch up to 2005 records but you know, it’s 2020 and anything seems possible.
The Main Development Region in the Atlantic is just what it sounds like. It’s the area where development is most likely to occur. That area of the Atlantic is on pace to have a record warm year which is not great news since tropical systems rely on warm water temperatures to strengthen. I think it is a really smart idea to plan for a hurricane in your area this year. With a pandemic going on and possible landfalling storms occurring along the U.S. coast, I know that I would prefer to not be surrounded by hundreds of anxious people trying to get ready last-minute for a storm. So, do yourself a favor and just casually prepare now.
Starting with Hurricane Douglas
The Eastern Pacific started rather slowly. They are only on their 4th named storm of the season which is what is right now – Hurricane Douglas. Douglas strengthened very quickly thanks to prime conditions but as this storm heads towards Hawaii – it will begin to weaken. Though, impacts are still going to be felt across all of the Island chains.
It seems as if Douglas thought about Hawaii and is now beelining straight towards the 50th state. Noticed how Douglas is sitting at a Major Category 3 hurricane – as it heads west, cooler waters will impact it and then eventually wind shear will begin to take control of this system which means that Douglas will weaken.
Impacts to Hawaii will be upwards of a foot of rain, 60-80 mph winds and real big surf. Most areas should be able to handle this type of storm, although flooding and some minor wind damage is expected from Sunday to Monday before it moves out.
Tropical Storm Gonzalo
Tropical storm Gonzalo formed in the Central Atlantic and is meandering towards the Leeward Islands. This storm is pretty impressive because it’s been battling some dry air but is holding thanks to those warm water temps.
Gonzalo *could* become the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season but those odds are not something I’d bet a lot of money on. Gonzalo is a tiny storm and tiny storms are heavily affected by any kind of negative environment. Dry air is affecting this storm and keeping it at a TS but there is the possibility that enough warm water and lack of wind shear will allow this to strengthen as it nears Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and the Grenadines.
Once it passes into the Caribbean, wind shear will have its way with the storm and likely weaken it to the point where it may be non-existent. This one is worth watching though since it’s entering the Caribbean and may turn north eventually. Hurricane watches are up for some of the islands.
Tropical Depression 8
Tropical depression 8 formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is being steered by high pressure over the central US. That means that TD 8 will move almost due west and impact Texas.
This is currently not strong enough to get tropical storm status but conditions are favorable for slow strengthening. That means that this has the chance to become Hanna which would snatch the title of the earliest formed “H” storm on record – again, beating our 2005s Harvey.
This will bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the Texas coast where Tropical Storm watches are up but overall, this will be a weak system and not cause too much ruckus.
The best time to prepare for a hurricane is before hurricane season begins on June 1. It is vital to understand your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind. Here is your checklist of things to do BEFORE hurricane seasons begins.
- Know your zone: Do you live near the Gulf or Atlantic Coasts? Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation area by contacting your local government/emergency management office or by checking the evacuation site website.
- Put Together an Emergency Kit: Put together a basic emergency. Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters.
- Write or review your Family Emergency Plan: Before an emergency happens, sit down with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of this plan in your emergency supplies kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster. Start at the Ready.Gov emergency plan webpage.
- Review Your Insurance Policies: Review your insurance policies to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home and personal property.
- Understand NWS forecast products, especially the meaning of NWS watches and warnings.
- Preparation tips for your home from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
- Preparation Tips for those with Chronic Illnesses