30 October 2020

Eta, 28th named storm, expected to form soon

All signs point to 2020 getting its 28th named storm very soon.  Invest 96L is located in the eastern Caribbean and is a late-season wave that left the African coast back around October 24th.  But only now is it encountering an environment that's allowing it to develop.  If it becomes a tropical storm and earns a name, it would be Eta, and would tie 2005's record of 28 named storms. 

As of Friday morning, the wave is centered about 140 miles west of Grenada, or 300 miles east of Bonaire.  It is expected to track westward through the Caribbean and reach Nicaragua/Honduras sometime around Tuesday. The National Hurricane Center is giving it a 70% probability of development within the next couple of days, and models unanimously favor its development too. The red shaded area on the map below indicates the potential area in which the NHC is expecting Invest 96L to develop into a tropical cyclone (don't confuse it with the "cone of uncertainty").

While the majority of model guidance favors a tropical storm or minimal hurricane heading west, the ensembles have some notable outliers, so we shouldn't get too confident in the outcome just yet.

If it should reach hurricane intensity, it would have plenty of company, historically. November hurricanes are not that rare, especially in the western Caribbean.  For some context, this map shows the 23 known November hurricanes over the past 50 years. The list includes some infamous storms such as Paloma '08, Michelle '01, and Lenny '99. The strongest U.S. hurricane landfall during November was Kate in 1985.  The official hurricane season ends on November 30th, but storms can and have formed after that artificial bound.

No comments:

Post a Comment