But it’s 2020, and the Atlantic may have other ideas. A weather pattern that encourages air masses to rise, leading to increased showers and thunderstorms, looks likely to overspread the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean by late in the month into early November. This pattern change could once again raise the odds of tropical development, provided other air and ocean ingredients are present as well.
In a typical storm season, the Atlantic averages one named storm after Oct. 19, which would suggest that even in an average year we wouldn’t be quite done yet. However, this season is anything but typical, considering we are pacing more than a month ahead of the busiest season on record, which occurred in 2005, and have dipped into the Greek alphabet for only the second time.
It’s plausible that the Atlantic basin may cap off its hyperactive season with a robust final act.
Hurricane Delta, now a major Category 4 storm, has strengthened at an incredible rate: more than 85 mph over 24 hours. It’s the fastest rate of intensification in the Caribbean since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, when that storm went from 75 mph to 185 mph in just 24 hours time.
Delta’s rapid intensification is no coincidence. Memorable storms like this season’s Hurricane Laura, and past season storms like Michael and Harvey, have done the same. Over the past few decades, rapid intensification has been increasing by about 3 to 4 mph per decade due to hotter waters from human-caused climate change. That means a system in 1980 that may have intensified by 40 mph in 24 hours might now intensify at 55 mph in 24 hours.
But Delta is looking especially similar to Wilma, the most intense storm on record in the Atlantic. And it could similarly have a
Only one other year on record (2005) had to transition to the Greek letters for naming storms. The hyperactive 2020 hurricane season is well into the Greek letter alphabet with about two months of potential activity ahead. The National Hurricane Center is watching several tropical systems, including one that could impact the Gulf Coast next week. Here’s why the hurricane season is starting to sound like fraternity or sorority row on a college campus.
Currently, Tropical Storm Gamma (the third letter in the Greek alphabet) is being monitored. According to the National Hurricane Center, Gamma is just offshore of the northern Yucatan Peninsula in the southern Gulf of Mexico and is expected to weaken in the coming days. The Sunday morning forecast discussion from NOAA notes, “Now that Gamma