02 September 2020

It's September 2nd and there are only 6 names left

The flurry of activity continued... shortly after my post yesterday that highlighted the formation Tropical Storm Nana near Jamaica, Tropical Depression 15 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Omar, the 15th named storm of the season (and the earliest 15th named storm on record by six days).

The primary feature in the Atlantic is strengthening Tropical Storm Nana. It is just off the Honduras coast and moving toward the west at 15 mph. It will make landfall in Belize tonight as a strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane. It's moving at a typical speed and the wind field is relatively compact, but it could still produce a 3-5-foot storm surge and very heavy rain, particularly in the more mountainous areas.
Omar was the tropical depression off the coast of North Carolina yesterday, and it briefly gained the organization and intensity to be a tropical storm on Tuesday evening, but is now a dissipating tropical depression.  Of the 15 named storms we have had so far this season, 6 of them lasted for less than two days!

Only six names remain in the English alphabet this year: Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred. If and when we exhaust those, we transition to the Greek alphabet (like in 2005) -- Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, etc. This is likely considering how far above par we are compared to 2005 for named storms.

But for all of those storms, the overall activity is not very high. The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) is down to 129% of average for the date, using the past fifty years as the baseline. At this pace, the 2020 season will be "average" for the first time on September 8th. But there are a few disturbances and waves out there with potential that could keep that from happening.

Shifting our attention much further east, a couple waves have chances of development in the coming week. One is centered about 1600 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and one is just emerging from Africa today. 

The evolution of these, and even the one further inland over Africa, is forecast by models to be complicated. Rather than the classic sequence of waves marching across the deep tropics, these could get close enough to orbit around each other or even merge in the coming days. So it's a challenge to say definitively which will be victorious -- if any. But the odds are good that at least one tropical cyclone will form from these embryos in the next few days.  The next name on this year's list is Paulette, and the record earliest date for the 16th named storm belongs to Philippe on September 17, 2005.

No comments:

Post a Comment