Hurricane Season Starts Monday, Here's What We're Watching

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Hurricane Season begins on June 1st and will start quiet. However, we will be watching a large-scale pattern over Central America that can lead to development.

NEW ORLEANS — Hurricane Season begins on Monday. Nothing is expected to form within the next five days, but we are going to be keeping an eye on a large-scale pattern in Central America called a Central American Gyre. 

This common feature is a large area of showers and t-storms that can sometimes lead to tropical development, but nothing is set in stone right now. It is simply something to keep an eye on as we head into the first couple of weeks in June.

It’s common for our models to show scary hurricanes developing in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico this time of year because of the Central American Gyre. Most of the time we do not see tropical development from this large-scale feature, but it’s something we always keep an eye on. This is just another reminder it’s important to get weather information from reliable and trusted sources.

With all that being said the overall pattern does favor stormy conditions in the Western Caribbean and Southern Gulf of Mexico the first few weeks in June, so it’s not impossible to see something try to develop, but it’s too soon to say for sure. 

Regardless of development, it’s important to always have your hurricane plan ready to put into action. This year is much different than years before thanks to COVID-19. 

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The official beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season is June 1. This season is predicted to be more active than average, due to factors like a potential La Nina event by September and warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures.

NOAA’s forecast issued on May 21 predicts 13-19 named storms of which 6-10 would be hurricanes and 3-6 would be major hurricanes (of Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale).

Tropical Storm Arthur which formed in mid-May was the first named storm of the year in the Atlantic. This is the sixth year in a row with a named storm forming earlier than the official start of hurricane season.

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2020 Hurricane Season forecast to be active

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1st and predictions are already being made. 

Colorado State University released their first forecast and call for an above-normal season. The forecast calls for 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes ( category 3 or higher). A normal season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. 

Typically when we have an El Nino wind shear is stronger and hurricane season can be less active. The reason for this above-normal forecast is the due to the lack of El Nino expected and the possibility that La Nina develops. This could lead to weaker wind shear over areas where tropical cyclones form. 

Here’s a look at the chance our area will see impacts from a hurricane this season. The chance that Louisiana will see impacts from a hurricane currently sits around 43%. That’s lower for Mississippi at 17%. The chance a major hurricane will hit somewhere along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Texas is 44%. That’s up from 30% during a normal season. 

Remember, it only takes one storm for it to be an active season for our area. The Gulf Coast has seen impacts during quiet seasons and no impacts during busy seasons. It’s important to have a plan regardless of the forecast. 

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