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2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Tracking Thread

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Hurricane season starts on June 1, and we are poised to continue the extraordinarily active streak of the last few years. Obviously, I start this thread aware of the current health crisis, and I know we all agree that the last thing we need is a major hurricane strike. My enthusiasm for learning and discussing tropical is well known, but I hope this tread is used to discuss the potential and track in as objective a fashion as possible. 

Today brought the famed CSU hurricane season forecast. As I expected, they are calling for an above average season. 

Named Storms: 16 (12.1 avg)
Hurricanes: 8 (6.4 avg)
Major Hurricanes: 4 (2.7 avg)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE): 150 (106 avg)

More concerning is that the probabilities for a major landfall are significantly higher than average. This is rooted in the fact that a more active season increases landfall odds. 

Key factors in this forecast? The ENSO state looks favorable for a transition to cool-neutral or weak La Nina during the peak of the season. This creates a favorable upper level environment for cyclone development. The Atlantic is generally warmer than normal as well. 

The ENSO phase and MDR SSTs will matter a lot. Right now, we could see warmth that is basin wide, rather than focused on the homebrew region as we've seen the last few years. 

Next CSU forecast will be released June 4. 


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Cat 5 into Point Lookout or this season is a bust.  That being said from a climo standpoint we're due for another Isabel or Irene/Lee combo.

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WB forecast update is for an active season.  Cites La Nina developing and warm water in most of the Atlantic basin.  MA coast in the highest threat areas along with northern Gulf coast and SE FL.

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On 4/8/2020 at 10:37 AM, Zanclidae said:

How are we doing as far as Saharan dust?  That seems to kill off good season potential.

Good question. I’m not sure we have a sense yet. 

The GOM has been on fire.


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We don’t really talk EPAC around here, but we could have our earliest TC on record develop. It’s been gradually organizing over the last few days. Thanks @Rhino16 for bringing it up in banter.


Turning to the Atlantic, I think we have a higher than average chance of some preseason development, which would continue the 5-year streak of development before June 1. Would be closer to the end of May IMO, which of course is always the more favored period.



Note the TCHP expansion this early. Most robust in four years. It’s not just the Caribbean, elevated TCHP (for this early) extends to the Antilles. It’s just one piece of the puzzle, but it’s a signal IMO.

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cone graphic


LOCATION...14.1N 116.1W


We have 01E.

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Central VA had ours 2(?) years ago? Didn’t get home until 8. Of course, still had to go to class next day.

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On 4/25/2020 at 7:11 PM, WxWatcher007 said:

We haven’t had a big widespread event in a while, but some parts of the forum had significant remnant impacts the last two years. 

Yeah. Far southern and southeastern portions of this forum have gotten something interesting recently from tropical remnants. 


As for me personally (others may have had varying experiences with the events listed below) in Fairfax County, VA since 2000 the tropical systems or remnants that brought wind gusts of 40+ mph IMBY were:

Isabel (2003). Estimated peak gusts IMBY (Falls Church, VA): 60-65mph (DCA gusted to 58mph)

Note: I'm in Herndon, VA from here and below.

Ivan (2004). IAD had a 43mph with the passage of a tornadic supercell. I witnessed a few gusts of 35-40 mph at that time as well... I didn't see the tornado.

Hanna(2008). Steady heavy rain with winds gusting to 40+ mph at times by the early/mid afternoon. (IAD gusted to 40mph)

Irene(2011).  Estimated peak gusts IMBY: ~50 mph (IAD gusted to 45mph)

Sandy(2012). Estimated peak gusts IMBY: 45-50mph (IAD gusted to 51mph)


No tropical remnants have brought 40+ mph wind gusts to MBY since 2012. 

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4 hours ago, WxWatcher007 said:

2016- Matthew (no landfall as a 5)

2017- Irma & Maria

2018- Michael 

2019- Dorian

That’s a remarkable run of category 5 hurricanes. 

New Normal

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Well nothing has changed in terms of having a favorable environment for some preseason tropical, and the long range operational models are introducing a modest signal for some development in a few weeks.

As usual, the GFS takes the lead in fantasy storm season with a weak low off the SE coast. 


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It has been well documented and modeled that the middle to end of the month would present a pattern conducive for another early start to the Atlantic season, and it looks like things are beginning to materialize. Named storms in May are rare, but have become increasingly common in the last decade, with the last 5 years showcasing a named storm in May. 

A stalled frontal boundary off the Florida coast looks to serve as the focal point for development as early as this weekend. This is a common way for homebrew to develop. Because SSTs are still relatively cool in the SW Atlantic, any development looks to be subtropical rather than tropical. The SW Atlantic is the favored climatological location this early. 





All of the operational models have development, but track is uncertain. This is less likely right now to significantly impact the US, as it may get kicked quickly OTS, but as the European model and some of the others have highlighted, there's a chance that the low could get trapped under a building high next week. 

As EJ posted above, the NHC has taken note.

'Tis the season. 

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1 minute ago, JakkelWx said:

Oh boy.. Cat 5 up the bay soon? :lmao::arrowhead:

I wish. This early season orange is destined for the shipping lanes, if it even develops.

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Special Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
730 PM EDT Tue May 12 2020

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

Special Tropical Weather Outlook issued to discuss the potential 
for subtropical development this weekend northeast of the Bahamas.

1. 1. A broad area of low pressure is expected to develop late this 
week or early this weekend a couple of hundred miles north of 
the Bahamas. Environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual 
development of this system, and a subtropical depression or storm 
is likely to form this weekend while it moves northeastward over 
the western Atlantic. The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on 
this system will be issued by 9 AM EDT Wednesday, or earlier, if 
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...near 0 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.

Forecaster Cangialosi

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