19 October 2020

New Depression could threaten Bermuda as Hurricane Epsilon

After a 1.5-week lull in activity, Tropical Depression 27 has just formed southeast of Bermuda. This area of interest first appeared on the National Hurricane Center's five-day outlook for potential formation five days ago... spot on!  Although not yet a named storm, it is fully expected to become a tropical storm later today and take the next name in the Greek alphabet: Epsilon. This would be the season's 26th named storm.

The current forecast from NHC brings the storm to a Category 1 hurricane by Thursday, and then maintaining that intensity into the weekend as it approaches Bermuda.

Looking at the model guidance, there is not much to suggest that it will be much stronger than that, but the models should improve once it matures a little more. This plot has forecasts from regional and global dynamical models (deterministic and ensemble means), statistical-dynamical models, and consensus. 

This has already been a rough year for the tiny island of Bermuda: Tropical Storm Edouard passed by on July 5, Hurricane Paulette passed directly over on September 14, and then Hurricane Teddy passed to the east on September 21.

Through October 19, this year's ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) is at 142% of average for the date. That amount of ACE is half of what the 1933 season had accrued by this date and 54% of the 2005 season by this date.

Elsewhere across the basin, there is a slowly-evolving large-scale circulation in the western Caribbean -- this is rather typical for this time of year. If something should eventually form from it, it would head generally north toward Cuba and the Yucatan.  If and when the time comes, the name after Epsilon will be Zeta.

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