The 2022 season so far – the potential for storms
June’s word of the month in the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season has been…potential.
The two named storms that formed in June have spent time as “potential tropical cyclones,” a rather new designation from the National Hurricane Center for storms that are expected to reach tropical storm strength before making landfall. , but which do not have traffic closed at that time. PTC status allows the NHC to begin issuing advisories for a storm…it’s going to be a storm…but it’s not a storm yet.
South Florida experienced one of these “tropical spots” on June 5. Potential Tropical Cyclone 1 was expected to arrive from the Yucatan Peninsula as Tropical Storm Alex. It was only named hundreds of miles east of Florida on the 6th, but caused flash flooding in Mexico and Cuba. In Florida, Naples received nine inches of rain and parts of Miami saw 11 inches of rain from the PTC 1, prompting officials in parts of that city to ask residents to observe a voluntary curfew as there were more vehicles stuck in floodwaters than available responders. . It showed the weather power of a tropical system that doesn’t even reach named status.
Three weeks later, PTC 2 approached Grenada and the “ABC” islands of the southern Caribbean and northern Venezuela before becoming Tropical Storm Bonnie as it approached Nicaragua. It happened from a tropical surge that occurred off the coast of Africa a few days before – something that feels more like the peak of the season than June.
“A named storm that forms in the main development region in June or July is usually a harbinger of an active season, as it shows that the atmosphere and ocean are conducive to activity,” said said tropical weather expert Jeff Masters in his Yale Climate Connections blog last week.
So that’s two named storms in June. Renowned hurricane researchers at Colorado State University have predicted 20 very high named storms for the season, which will run through Nov. 30.
So how is it supposed to go from 2 to 20 in just a few months?
The simple answer: August and September.
These months are at the height of hurricane season – ocean waters are warmer, troublesome trade winds are lighter, and waves from Africa, the seed of numerous Atlantic storms, emerge into the sea every three to five days. .
A total of 14 named storms formed in August and September during the 2020 and 2021 seasons – seasons that reached storm “D” in late June.
So the lesson is this: there’s plenty of time — and plenty of potential — for major hurricanes to form this season, so Central Floridians should do what they always have (or should) do.
Stay ready. Have supplies, a kit, and a plan.