14 August 2020

Kyle forms and shatters yet another record

We are still watching Tropical Storm Josephine approaching the northern Windward Islands in the deep tropics, and meanwhile, Tropical Storm Kyle has also just formed off the coast of New Jersey. Neither will have much of an impact to land, and neither will be around too much longer.

Josephine is still hanging on to tropical storm status, which has been confirmed by aircraft reconnaissance flights into the storm... it has peak sustained winds of 40 mph (minimal tropical storm) and is still forecast to begin turning north and weakening this weekend. While it could affect Bermuda by mid-week, it is not expected to be much more than a healthy breeze at that point.

Kyle actually formed from a low pressure system that tracked across the mid-Atlantic states and got a big boost from the warm Gulf Stream when it emerged over the ocean.  It is moving away from land at 17 mph, and is forecast to strengthen a bit before transitioning to an extratropical cyclone late this weekend.  It is strongly sheared from the west, giving it a very lopsided appearance on satellite images. 

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the previous record earliest "K" storm was Katrina, which formed on August 24th, 2005. Kyle has shattered that impressive record by ten days. Remember, this is not ten days ahead of average, this is ten days ahead of the previous record!  For reference, the *average* date of the eleventh named storm formation is OCTOBER 24th!

We can again put 2020 in perspective using Accumulated Cyclone Energy, or ACE.  Through August 14, this season is in 21st place (which also happens to be 201% of average over the past fifty years).

The next name on this year's list is Laura.  The current record earliest 12th named storm formed on August 29, 1995 (Luis).  A season that topples any records from 1995 and 2005 is worth paying very close attention to...

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