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2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season
| Arthur | Bertha | Cristobal | Dolly | Edouard | Fay | Gonzalo | Hanna | Isaias | Josephine | Kyle | Laura | Marco | Nana | Omar | Paulette | Rene | Sally | Teddy | Vicky | Wilfred |

Active Tropical Systems: None!
Atlantic Hurricane Season is from June 1 - November 30


GOES Satellite - Zoomed in on the Caribbean (03:40 UTC, 17 minutes ago)
Scale bar (lower right) is 250 miles. [more satellite imagery].
See storm-centered satellite image and loop in the tools section below (if available)

Saturday, May 23, 2020 20:46PM EDT - A PSA & Season Approach

Good evening,

I trust and hope all is well and safe with all of you. The last 10-12 weeks have been life altering to most, mind boggling to some, a nuisance to many and eye openingÂto all whether you believe or not. Use common sense and follow guidelines, while they may be a nuisance and inconvenient, they do protect and save lives. The more vigilant we are now, the quicker the return to a near sense of normalcy although I believe the old normal will be relegated.

PSA. This is a weather site and we all know many of us have gone through many weather events personally, myself included especially 1995 and 2017. However, this afternoon, while weather related, was unexpected and a lesson for all.Â

I now split my time working between Florida and the US Virgin Islands, my former home for 30.5 years. Rip currents are no stranger to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, especially the northern facing coasts. However, beaches are not prevalent on that side in the VI while more numerous in PR however, deaths and accidents due to these rip currentsÂare few and far between there. Florida coasts however are a far different story.

Readers Digest version: Today, while standing 20 feet farther into the ocean than my girlfriend Melody, say 40 feet into the water, enjoying the surf, sun and just being outside and in the 77 degree water, I said to her: "hey lets walk over to that sandbar."Â Low tide at 3 pm, the sandbar was a mere 75-100 feet away. She smiled and nodded. I watched her turn to walk that way. A wave broke over my head and then quickly another. When I came up out of those, MelodyÂwas 200 feetÂaway. I said a few curse words and then another wave broke over me. I came up and noticed her even farther away. I realized wow, I was in a rip current. Best guess was 6 mph. That's 1 mile per 10 minutes. I immediately started to swim parallel to the beach. Many waves broke over me for what seemed endless and holding breath in between those waves was a challenge as I was in the breaker zone but then I touched a sandbar, stepped up and a few steps later broke freeÂof the current. Standing upright and seeing my girl Melody and the rest of the people was a relieving sight. Note: The lifeguard was attending another emergency north of me so it wasn't his fault he didn't see me swept out. After recounting the events with Melody, we returned to the water, more aware and lesson learned. My point to all here is, yes they exist, no we don't think about them that much in the Caribbean but when warned, heed. They are potential sneaky killers. I was lucky. I also learned a lesson. Yes it was by chance I stepped in ones path with no idea it was there but the lesson is learned. Awareness of your surroundings and knowledge of what to do in case the unexpected happens, as in this case, can mean the difference. Tonight, upon reflection, it hits home to both of us much harder. What if? But, positive is how I live so moving along and not dwelling. But wow.Â

Now to the future season. El Nino is going to be almost non existent. Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic waters SST (sea surface temperatures) are above average. Wind shear, one of our best friends during hurricane season, looks to be on the down low. Saharan Dust, another mitigating factor, will always be present but will not be the almighty savior it has been over the preceding years. This season looms to be very active. Where and when are variables as are the weather conditions at that precise time of formation and trek. Our mission is to be empowered with knowledge, experience and to be prepared.Â

Eight days from now we will have the official start of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. TS Arthur has already been a premature nuisance and a few of the computer models have suggested some activity in the Western Caribbean and GOM in the next few weeks. This weekend, here in Fl which has been in a drought of all sorts, a tropical wave is expected to lift up from the south and provide anywhere from 1/2 inch to 8 inches over most of the peninsula. Drought buster in some areas while a drought wimp surely in others. Main day will be Memorial Day. We shall see.Â

Stay safe and well. Get and be prepared. Live each day as if tomorrow might not come. It's a tough world right now but with a positive attitude, awareness and perseverence, we will all overcome the obstacles in our collective way.Â

Dave

Virus-free. www.avg.com

Thursday, May 21, 2020 12:16PM PDT - NOAA predicts busy hurricane season
Some more hurricane news... NOAA's Climate Prediction Center just came out with their forecast. They say that there is a 60% chance that it will be an above-normal season (30% near-normal and 10% below normal). They are forecasting 13-19 named storms (12 is normal), 6-10 hurricanes (6 is normal) of which 3-6 will be Category 3 or higher (3 is normal). Factors driving this is the absence of El Nino conditions, above normal sea surface temperatures, reduced vertical wind shear and weaker trade winds and an enhanced west African monsoon. They will update their forecast in August, just before the peak. On June 4 Colorado State will issue their updated forecast. Back in April they predicted 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes, so also an above normal season. Read more on the NOAA website. -Gert

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 13:32PM PDT - Amphan and stronger storms
Two pieces of hurricane news..., Cyclone Amphan made landfall in West Bengal, India, close to the Bangladesh border. Sustained winds were 100 mph, making it equivalent to a Category 2 "Atlantic" hurricane. One major problem is the flooding, because of the low-lying river deltas in this region... Another problem is that people are reluctant to go to emergency shelters because of COVID-19. This storm was once a "Category 5" storm, and underwent extremely rapid intensification: over 36 hours winds increased by 110 mph, from 50 to 160 mph!

That brings me to my second topic, a paper was just published in PNAS by NOAA scientist, noting that climate change ("global warming") is indeed causing stronger storms, esp. in the Atlantic. See also this article in the Washington Post. This is a big deal since storm force increases exponentially (not linearly) with windspeed. The little sidebar on the right shows that there is a big difference in storm force between the different category hurricanes, even though windspeeds differ only by about 15-25 mph. In the WP news article, meteorologist Elsner is quoted as: "Hurricane destruction in the United States, in terms of physical damage costs, has historically increased by 10 percent for every 5 mph increase in wind speed".

The PNAS study finds that the chances of a storm becoming Category 3 or higher is increasing about 8 percent per decade. Also, not only are storms stronger, and due to higher seawater temperature, wetter, they also seem to intensify much more quickly, like Amphan did, and as we have recently seen in the Caribbean, like Maria. So, unfortunately it looks like we will see more 'big ones' in the future... More the reason to be well prepared... -Gert

Sunday, May 17, 2020 10:52AM PDT - First storm
Hurricane season hasn't even officially started yet and we already have the first storm of the season. Yesterday tropical depression One formed off the east coast of Florida and was upgraded to Tropical Storm Arthur a bit later that day. It is of no worries to us in the Caribbean, but it may pass close to North Carolina tomorrow. It is not expected to become a hurricane.

This is the 6th year in a row that a tropical storm has formed before the official start of hurricane season (June 1) according to Brian McNoldy. He also shows that there is indeed a trend that storms form earlier. However, no need (yet?) to change the official start of hurricane season, because it is still pretty seldom that a hurricane forms outside hurricane season (see the First Storm of the Season page, hmmm, I really have to update that with more recent data). -Gert

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 07:40AM EDT - It's that time again!

Good morning!

Back in the saddle for another installment of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. I hope everyone is getting prepared for this season, forecast to be an unusually active period. On top of the Covid-19 virus which the world is rightly focused on, we cannot forget what possibilities loom ahead the next 6 months. Plus, it might start early with a subtropical system, given a high (70%) chance of forming somewhere around or north of the Bahamas this weekend. If it does develop, which would be more sub tropical than tropical characteristic wise with a cold core, then it's name would be Arthur. Note that these systems were not even named until about 2002 by the NHC or even tracked by the NHC until the 70's.

The major contributing ingredient for this possible development will not come from the south east or the east but rather from the far west initially. Florida, in a good deal of drought, could use a rainmaking system like this, but alas it looks like the Bahamas will be the beneficiary although South Florida could get some of these effects. Gusty winds, maybe some flooding and heavy rain is probable in the Bahamas as this system will move quickly towards the NE and away from the east coast of the US.

The official start of the season in the Atlantic is June 1 while the East Pacific season starts on May 15th. Currently, a soon to be typhoon named Vongfong, is about to cause wind damage and flooding in the central and northern islands of the Phillipines while potential development, brewing for over a week, is possible in the Bay of Bengal. As Gert shared, some of these names are eerily familiar. Bertha is one I know well as she visitedÂthe Virgin Islands a mere 10 months after Cat 3 Marilyn's destructive nighttime assault. While Bertha was only a Cat 1 at the time, the winds and rain only compounded the misery of rebuilding after Marilyn.Â

May is National Mental Health Awareness month and we all are dealing with the stress and fear of Covid -19 both mentally, physically and financially. Please prepare now if possible for this upcoming hurricane season as no one needs the worry of a double whammy of hurricanes and the virus. If your prepared, then your mental health anyway will be in a much better position to deal with the event if manifested.

Take care, be safe and well, and prepare.

Dave

... Older discussions >>

Current Tropical Weather Outlook (NHC/TPC):
Accompanying satellite image (pop-up, source: NHC)
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
520 PM EDT Mon May 25 2020

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

Special Tropical Weather Outlook issued to discuss the broad trough 
of low pressure extending across Florida and the adjacent Atlantic 
and Gulf of Mexico waters.

Widespread showers and thunderstorms extending across Florida, the 
Bahamas, and the adjacent Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters are 
associated with an elongated surface trough interacting with an 
upper-level disturbance.  Although a weak surface low could form 
along the surface trough just off the east coast of Florida and 
move northward toward Georgia and South Carolina on Tuesday and 
Wednesday, the low is not expected to become a tropical cyclone due 
to strong upper-level winds.

Regardless of development, heavy rainfall could cause flash 
flooding over portions of southern and central Florida tonight, 
spreading northward to coastal sections of northeastern Florida, 
Georgia, and the Carolinas on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Gusty winds 
could also produce rough marine conditions and life-threatening 
surf and rip currents along the coasts of eastern Florida, Georgia, 
and the Carolinas through Wednesday.  For additional information, 
see products from your local National Weather Service office.  The 
next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will be issued 
by 9 AM EDT Tuesday, or earlier if necessary.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent.

$$
Forecaster Berg
More detail in the Tropical Weather Discussion or view the Graphicast Image

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Latest local updates from the special
hurricane correspondents on the islands:
- Trinidad & Tobago [May 25 20:03]
- St.Thomas [May 25 9:35]
- Grenada [May 25 7:09]
- Nevis [May 24 17:23]
- St.Lucia [May 6 16:06]
- Anguilla [May 3 18:48]
- Barbados [Apr 26 22:19]

Only reports received for this season are listed. See the archive for previous years.

Links to excellent websites:
- Navy/NRL Monterey
- WeatherUnderground
- NOAA/NESDIS (floater loops)
- RAMSDIS Imagery
- Radar Composite - E-Carib.
- Caribbean/Atl. buoy data
- RT model guidance (RAL/NCAR)
- STORM2K forum
- Tracking Waves (McNoldy)
- Tang/UAlbany (model tracks)
- tropicaltidbits.com
- CIMSS/U.Wisc-Mad
- Brammer/UAlbany
- ECMWF Model Forecast
- more...

Storm definitions by wind speed:
- Tropical Depression <39mph
- Tropical Storm 39-73mph
- Cat.1 Hurricane 74-95mph
- Cat.2 Hurricane 96-110mph
- Cat.3 Hurricane 111-129mph
- Cat.4 Hurricane 130-156mph
- Cat.5 Hurricane >=157mph
More info in the Practical Guide

Wind force relative to Category 1:
- Tropical Storm 39mph: 0.28x
- Cat.1 Hurricane 74mph: 1x
- Cat.2 Hurricane 96mph: 1.7x
- Cat.3 Hurricane 111mph: 2.3x
- Cat.4 Hurricane 130mph: 3.1x
- Cat.5 Hurricane 157mph: 4.5x
- Irma 185mph: 6.3x



- - - Local hurricane correspondents wanted! - - -

The local hurricane correspondents are the heart and soul of stormCARIB. They are the people who live on the island and write to us what is going on around them. First hand very local personal reports instead of very limited or sensationalized coverage by the general media. Do you live on one of the islands? We need your help! We are looking for more people who are interested in sending us a few paragraphs about the situation on your island before, during and after a storm hits. You don't need to be a weatherman or expert on the subject, just share with us what you know, feel and see on your island. Your help will be really appreciated by Caribbean people living abroad with family living on the islands, future visitors who have their Caribbean dream-vacation booked, etc.etc. Reliable, not-sensationalized information is just so hard to get in crisis situations. Help keep the rest of the world up-to-date with what is really happening! We really need you, Georges back in 1998, and many others since then are proof! If interested, contact gert@gobeach.com.


WHAT TO FIND ON StormCARIB.com:
This website is all about the Caribbean. Here you can find information, weather discussions and local reports regarding tropical systems threatening the Caribbean islands. A central part of this website is the volunteer network of special local hurricane correspondents, living on the islands, who will report, when need be, on how it looks and feels like around them. Above also hopefully easy to understand weather discussions by me and Dave. In addition, as an aid in locating family or friends on the islands in an emergency situation you can post your 'plea for help' on the bulletin board. Also featured on this website is the Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator, for easy locating to the least overloaded webserver for National Hurricane Center advisories and the latest satellite images. Another part of the Caribbean Hurricane Network is the 'practical guide' to hurricane tracking with unit conversions, definitions, tips, links, etc. You can also find out how close the storm is and how many hours you have left to prepare plus you can map the closest point of approach of a hurricane to your location. New is the climatology of Caribbean hurricanes section. Find out when the real peak of hurricane season is for individual islands, view hurricane tracks passing by the islands over the last 150+ years. An archive with detailed reports of how the Caribbean islands fared during the 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 (incl. Frances and Ivan), 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999 (incl. Floyd and Lenny), 1998 (incl. Georges and Mitch), 1997 and 1996 seasons are still available as well. Plus there is more, like storm-centered satellite images, make your own local satellite loop, etc. Hope you find the information on this website (now counting over thousands pages with original content) helpful. Comments always welcome! RSS web feed available. As a side note I am now accepting donations as well. Thanks for visiting!

Maintained & moderated by: Gert van Dijken (gert@gobeach.com).
Weather discussions also by Dave McDermott, St.Thomas, USVI.


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Disclaimer
The information on these pages is derived from weather statements provided by the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center, and others, and from hurricane correspondents in the Caribbean. I tried to translate the official weather statements in more layman's terms. Also, I tried to fill the gap in reporting on what is happening in the Caribbean, instead of the US (there are already many other good website which focus on the US). Keep in mind that my statements are my own interpretations from the information available to me. Therefore, use the information at your own risk, and above all, don't use these webpages for making life-or-death decisions, always rely on the official and qualified authorities! Accuracy of eye-witness reports by the special hurricane correspondents have not been checked. They may be highly subjective. The author can not be held responsible for lost property, ruined vacations and the like. Despite all this I hope you found the webpage informative and useful. These pages do not have a commercial intent. GoBeach Vacations provided the means and opportunity to start all this. 'Unfortunately' this website has become too popular, placing too much load on the gobeach.com webservers. Luckily, starting in 2000, my excellent webhost provider, pairNetworks, liked my website so much that they support services whenever they can. Comments are always welcome. Just send a note to gert@gobeach.com. Gert