BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Welcome to the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. It doesn’t typically happen quite this perfectly, but September 10 is the climatological (historical) peak of hurricane season and we’re tracking no fewer than 7 separate features in the tropics. Should we expect anything less in 2020?
Join me on my Facebook page at 2:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon for a live update on all of these systems we are tracking in the tropics.
Our map highlighting the 7 features of interest may be unlike any we’ve ever seen before in the Atlantic. In addition to Tropical Storms Paulette and Rene over the open Atlantic, we’re tracking a pair of waves getting ready to emerge from Africa, a disturbance just east of the Bahamas, a disturbance nearing the coast of the Carolinas, and a disturbance in the northeast Gulf of Mexico.
Most Immediate Interest
Our main focus for now is on the disturbance in the northeastern Gulf and the one nearing the northern Bahamas. Both of these will move east-to-west across the Gulf over the next 6-7 days, helping to enhance our rain chances.
The National Hurricane Center currently gives the first system a 20% chance of development as it moves through the Gulf this weekend. Most guidance is not terribly bullish on this disturbance, but it will deliver a significant increase in our rain chances this weekend. It should continue westward to near Texas by early next week.
The second area near the northern Bahamas shows a little more potential for tropical development. The National Hurricane Center currently places development odds at 30% as of Thursday morning, while the European model ensembles are showing a 40%+ chance of a tropical depression. While this one shows more development potential, it still looks as though rain will be the greatest impact. Look for this one to keep our rain chances on the high side from Monday through at least Wednesday of next week. Of course, we’ll want to keep a close eye on it for any further development because it may very well end up tracking very close to the Louisiana coast.
Paulette & Rene
I will keep the discussion brief on Tropical Storms Paulette and Rene since neither appears likely to ever threaten the U.S. coastline. Both have battled bursts of wind shear, but both are forecast to become at least minimal hurricanes within the next several days. Rene may never threaten land, but Paulette could track close to Bermuda by next week.
We will also need to keep an eye on the systems emerging from Africa. Models remain bullish on the first one developing and much of our guidance shows the wave behind it also developing. Of note is that these systems are emerging from Africa at a lower latitude and may have a better chance of tracking farther west into the Atlantic, especially the first one. Indeed, models have trended toward the first disturbance being a Caribbean threat into next week.
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