After Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane less than a week ago, we can breathe a sigh of relief that things aren’t as active this week – or can we?
Now that September is upon us, statistics tell us we should be more on guard than ever for tropical development: The month is considered the peak of hurricane season, and this year is likely to be no exception.
FAVORITE TROPICAL TRACKS IN SEPTEMBER
Some notable storms that we can remember in September are very memorable for several reasons. Hurricane Irma of 2017, for example, was an extremely powerful Cabo Verde hurricane that caused widespread destruction in Florida.
Irma was the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the Leeward Islands, followed by Maria two weeks later. Another notable hurricane of September was Hurricane Hugo in 1989, which caused multiple falls over the course of five days in Guadeloupe, Sainte-Croix, Puerto Rico and South Carolina. All of these storms have taken similar paths to those pictured below.
WHY IS THE ACTIVITY REPRESENTED IN SEPTEMBER?
We generally see more frequent tropical systems, with a longer lifespan and greater intensity, in September due to a few factors.
At this time of year we have experienced summer heat peaks and the oceans are generally warmer than the first few months of the season. Warmer water feeds tropical systems, allowing excessive upward movement over the water resulting in strong thunderstorms which can organize into tropical systems.
Another factor that comes into play is that we generally have less wind shear in the model at this time of year. The Jet Stream is weaker during the summer months and the wind shear subsides in June and July, becoming almost non-existent in August and September. This is not a good thing, as wind shear can help weaken tropical systems.
CURRENT ATLANTIC STORMS
The Atlantic Basin is currently in full swing as we enter the peak of hurricane season.
The first is Tropical Storm Nana, which became a named storm on Tuesday, becoming the 14th storm to reach that level this season. It is expected to strengthen into a hurricane Wednesday night before reaching the Belize coast. It currently has maximum winds of 95 km / h, with stronger gusts.
“A westward or west-southwest movement is expected this evening and Thursday. On the intended track, Nana will move close to but north of the coast of Honduras today, likely approaching the coast of Belize this evening and early Thursday, ”US National Hurricane Center said.
NHC warns of dangerous storm surge that raises water levels up to (0.91 meters) to 5 feet (1.5 meters) above normal tide levels along the immediate coast near and north of where the center touches land. In addition, rainfall is expected to reach 75 to 150 mm, with isolated amounts of 200 mm, near the northern coast of Honduras, southern and central Belize, northern Guatemala and the northern part of the Mexican state. of Chiapas.
The second is what forecasters call Tropical Storm Omar, which formed off the coast of North Carolina. Benefiting from winds of 65 km / h, it is on a track which takes it away from land. The weakening is expected to start by Thursday, with Omar likely to become a weak residue on Thursday night.
There are also two tropical disturbances, one halfway between the Windward Islands and West Africa and the other just off the coast of Africa. The NHC says there is a low (30%) and medium (60%) probability, respectively, that the two systems will develop in the next five days.