NEW ORLEANS — Eye on the Tropics:
Tropical Depression 11 is still churning over the Atlantic with no change in thinking. It will likely become Josephine before continuing toward the Leeward Islands (the northern Lesser Antilles) where the storm will then enter a more hostile environment and weaken. Currently NOT a threat to the US and possibly not a threat to land at all!
There was a great deal of hype last week on the new forecasts for the rest of the 2020 hurricane season with 19 to 25 total storms forecasted by NOAA (we only have 21 names, so this could send us into the Greek alphabet like we saw in 2005). And there are many comparisons to the 2005 season, such has how we've been setting records as to how early we're using the names. In my opinion, two of the storms, Barry and Dolly, were questionable in gaining a "named" status. However, even as we could break another record with the earliest "J" storm if Josephine is named in the next day or so (previous record is Jose in 2005 on August 22), we are no where close to the amount of energy exhausted from the first 10 storms on 2020 when compared to 2005. I've discussed ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy), which is a value based maximum winds taken every 6 hours for a named storm, and so far 2020 has a value of 23. By the first 10 storms of 2005, we were over 75. So although the number of named storms are similar to 2005, it was far more active with regards to intensity 15 years ago. We are, however, not quite to the busiest part of the season which begins in 8 days on August 20.
HURRICANE CENTER: Latest track, radar, and spaghetti models
There is a pattern called the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) which is a fluctuation of favorable and unfavorable states for tropical development across the globe. This favorable/unfavorable pattern shifts every few weeks. For the next few weeks, the more favorable region is over the Pacific, but toward the end of August and into September, this pattern will shift over the Atlantic. That doesn't mean you won't see ANY development over a particular basin when in an "unfavorable" phase, but when in "favorable" it is usually when you see multiple storms at a time and also when you see the chance for more powerful storms. So we'll be more favorable as we near the peak of the season. Stay tuned...
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HURRICANE SEASON FORECAST TO BECOME "EXTREMELY ACTIVE"
NOAA released their August hurricane season forecast update and calls for an 'Extremely Active' season. The forecast calls for 19-25 named storms, 7-11 hurricanes and 3-6 major. These numbers already include the nine named storms and two hurricanes.
The reasons for the extremely active season:
• Warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean
• Enhanced West African Monsoon (rainy) season - causes tropical waves
• Possible La Nina forming in the months ahead
• Reduced wind shear over the Atlantic Basin - allows storms to develop
Now is the time to be prepared. Typically, the season becomes more active in the next few weeks with the peak on September 10th.
The expert forecasters at Colorado State have issued their August update on the 2020 hurricane season. Their forecast now calls for 24 named storms (including the nine already), 12 hurricanes (including the two already) and five major hurricanes.
That's an increase of four named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane.
Should there be 24 named storms, they would run out of names and have to go to the Greek alphabet, like they did in 2005.