25 July 2020

Hanna becomes first hurricane of the season as Gonzalo falls apart

As alluded to in yesterday's post, Hanna did indeed reach hurricane intensity, and with just hours remaining until landfall, it's still strengthening. As of the 15 UTC advisory, peak sustained winds are up to 80 mph.  It is moving toward the west at 7 mph, which brings it to landfall in the mid-afternoon timeframe. I have a variety of long radar loops available at http://bmcnoldy.rsmas.miami.edu/tropics/radar/

Storm surge could reach 3-5 feet north of the center (where the wind is onshore) and parts of south Texas could see rainfall totals up to 18 inches.

Over the past fifty years, the median date of the first hurricane is August 6th, so Hanna is about two weeks ahead of par (the average date is August 15th).  There's virtually no trend over this period in this date, and in the fifty years from 1971-2020, no hurricane has formed prior to the start of hurricane season (I omit Alex in January 2016 because meteorologically, it was a post-season storm of the 2015 season).

It's quite rare to get hurricane landfalls in this stretch of the Texas coast between Brownsville and Corpus Christi... the last three were in 2008 (Cat2 Dolly), 1999 (Cat3 Bret), and 1980 (Cat3 Allen).  Now we can add Hanna (Cat1 in 2020) to the list. Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane just north of Corpus Christi in 2017.

Further east, and on the other end of the spectrum, Tropical Storm Gonzalo is disintegrating as it reaches the Windward Islands. It is still officially clinging to tropical storm status, but it is hard to spot if you didn't know where to look!  It is forecast to degenerate into an open wave later this weekend off the coast of Venezuela.

Finally, Invest 92L remains a feature of interest in the far eastern Atlantic. It will be slow to get going, but there is solid agreement among models that it will develop and track through the deep tropics. It will reach the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday, and then in the 7-10-day range, the track spread naturally increases dramatically, so it's certainly something to keep an eye on. If named, it would be Isaías (ees-ah-EE-ahs).  This name was introduced in the 2014 season (Ike was retired in 2008), but never used because that season ended with Hanna.

1 comment:

  1. "As eluded to in yesterday's post....."

    I had to look it up to be sure but how about alluded instead of eluded?

    Enjoy your posts. I live in Florida and they are most helpful.