2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season
I figured it would be a good idea to have a thread devoted just to this year's hurricane season in the Atlantic. As if the world isn't already chaotic enough, meteorologists have been forecasting since March that this season will be more active than normal, and some of you have had visions of devastating hurricanes striking the US this year.
Well, there have already been an unprecedented 2 named tropical storms in the month of May (the season doesn't official start until June 1), and right now tropical storm Cristobal (the earliest forming 3rd named storm in recorded Atlantic history) is beginning to move north from southeastern Mexico and is expected to make landfall in Louisiana by Sunday. Cristobal has dumped 24 inches of rain on parts of the Yucatan Peninsula. Even if it makes landfall in the US as just a tropical storm, I feel like it may drop massive amounts of rain and cause catastrophic flooding (like Harvey and Florence did). Thoughts? I know this isn't very optimistic, but I can't ignore the foreboding I felt when the red circle of Cristobal showed up on the National Hurricane Center map at the beginning of the week. The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico also have a known recent history of rapidly strengthening tropical systems (think Hurricane Michael in 2018).
UPDATE: The National Weather Service has now issued tropical storm warnings for southeastern Louisiana, coastal Alabama, coastal Mississippi, and the far western portion of the Florida Panhandle. Storm surge watches have also been issued as far east as Hernando County (just north of Tampa). For a storm that's still 2 days away from landfall, this flurry of warnings is concerning. Cristobal is turning out to be big enough that the US Gulf coast can begin to experience the outer bands of the storm tonight.
This hurricane season continues to break records. Tropical Storm Fay, which just made landfall in New Jersey, is the earliest forming "F" storm since modern record keeping began. Fay is bringing heavy rainfall to the mid-Atlantic, and there will be some flooding in urban and poor drainage areas, but that's not what really concerns me (especially since this storm is moving north at a steady clip). Rather, I'm concerned about what Fay portends. The really powerful hurricanes usually don't start forming until mid-August at the earliest.
@coyote I am also concerned about these hurricanes, and about Tropical Storm Fay. When I heard about Fay yesterday morning, I had a vision of first floor apartments flooding in parts of NYC and some people needing to escape to higher floors to protect themselves.
I hope people will take this hurricane season seriously. Climate change is exponential, not linear.It's accelerating, not growing steadily. I know you know this but others may not realize what it means. This kind of growth means that we will increasingly see record-breaking storms and some will be shockingly extreme.
We may see steep jumps in the size and virulence of storms. We don't know how quickly weather changes are accelerating or how steep the curve is. But I would get out of the way of any approaching storms from here on in.
I didn't learn about Fay until today. Last night, however, I had a premonitory dream. When I was growing up, my extended family used to rent a house in the NC Outer Banks for a week every summer. In my dream, I was in an oceanfront Outer Banks beach house with some of my brothers and cousins. We were on the third (topmost) floor of the house, which is usually where the kitchen, family room, and large windows are placed in these sorts of houses. I looked out a window and saw dark clouds with aprons of rain beneath them approaching. When the storm arrived, the ocean waves grew bigger and bigger, to the point where I realized they would swamp the beach and inflict structural damage on the neighborhood. Rather than being alarmed, I was fascinated; I was thinking "How interesting. It's just like a movie." But then the water from the waves surged into the house, covered the first two floors, and came up to my knees; I had to grab hold of the walls to keep from being pulled outside. I then realized in a panic that my brother was on the floor below and had likely been carried away by the water. To my relief, when the water subsided, my brother trudged upstairs.
The dream did seem to be about not taking these weather threats seriously and ending up in a dangerous situation as a result.