2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season

When does 2021’s hurricane season start?

 

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is coming quicker than most people thought. The season usually begins on June 1, 2021, and ends on November 30, 2021. These dates historically describe the period each year when most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic basin and is adopted by convention. However, the formation of tropical cyclones is possible at any time of the year. Starting with this hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) will begin issuing regular Tropical Weather Outlooks on May 15, two weeks earlier than they used to do so in the past, while the NHC, the National Weather Service (NWS), and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) discuss whether or not to move up the official start of the hurricane season to May.

What are the names for this year’s hurricanes?

 

The following names will be used for named storms that form in the North Atlantic in 2021. Retired names, if any, will be announced by the World Meteorological Organization in the spring of 2022. The names not retired from this list will be used again in the 2027 season. This is the same list used in the 2015 season, with the exceptions of Elsa and Julian, which replaced Erika and Joaquin, respectively.

 

 

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Four Types Of Thunderstorms

Like other things in life, thunderstorms differentiate depending on certain conditions. Sure, we’ve got severe and non-severe storms, but are you aware that there are four different types of thunderstorms?

In their infancy, most thunderstorms start up as high cumulus clouds. wet parcels of air rise, expand, and cool, inflicting these clouds to grow. This creates what we decision an updraft. Often, the white, wispy look of the growing cloud is replaced by a darker shade. This ominous look is water vapor condensing into ice crystals and water droplets that will later fall as rain.

If there’s an updraft, then there must be a downdraft, right? Once the ice crystals and water droplets become heavy enough, gravity takes over and the precipitation begins to fall. As it descends, it forces the surrounding air down with it. This creates the downdraft, transporting cooler, humid air to the surface.

The downdraft is also responsible for what helps weaken a storm. As the downdraft becomes stronger, it eventually overtakes the updraft, leading to the thunderstorm’s demise. If that warm, moist air can no longer rise, the entire process stops and what once was a dangerous storm, becomes a cloud with light rain that gradually dissipates.

Now let’s break down the four different types they can become:

Singe-Cell Thunderstorms:

Single-Cell Thunderstorms are pulse storms. As with all thunderstorms, they are formed in areas of high humidity. They barely last an hour but can create severe hail and weak tornadoes.

Multi-Cell Thunderstorms:

Multi-Cell Thunderstorms consist of a group of single-cell thunderstorms at different stages of their life. They make everyone aware of their presence by lightening.

Multicell Line Storms consist of a line of squalls leading the front.

Multicell Cluster Storms can produce moderate sized hail, flash floods, and weak tornadoes.

Super-Cell Storms: 

Super-Cell Storms are the most severe type of thunderstorm. They can produce strong downbursts, large hail, and occasional flash floods.

 

Hurricane Updates

[Update 11/03/2020 10:00AM]:

Hurricane Eta

What we know:

Through Friday evening, heavy rainfall from Eta will likely lead to catastrophic, life threatening flash flooding and river flooding across portions of Central America, along with landslides in areas of higher terrain. Flash and river flooding is also possible across Jamaica, southeast Mexico, El Salvador, southern Haiti, and the Cayman Islands.

A catastrophic and life-threatening storm surge, along with destructive waves, are expected along portions of the northeastern coast of Nicaragua near and to the north of where the center makes landfall. Water levels could reach as high as 14 to 21 feet above normal tide levels in some parts of the hurricane warning area.

 

What is the likelihood of it gaining strength?

Catastrophic wind damage is expected where Eta’s eyewall moves onshore along the northeastern coast of Nicaragua. Tropical-Storm-Force or greater winds are already occurring within the Hurricane Warning area in Nicaragua. A Tropical Storm Warning is also in effect for the northeastern coast of Honduras.

 

 

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Tropical Storm Updates

[Update 11/10/2020 10:00AM]:

Tropical Storm Eta

What we know:

Heavy rainfall will continue across western Cuba and South Florida today and tonight. Additional flash and urban flooding, especially across previously inundated areas, will be possible in South Florida. Flash and urban flooding will also be possible for western Cuba.

What is the likelihood of it gaining strength?

Eta could approach the northeastern or north-central U.S. Gulf Coast later this week as a tropical storm, and possibly bring impacts from rain, wind, and storm surge. Interests in this area should continue to monitor the progress of Eta and updates to the forecast this week.

 

Tropical Storm Theta

 

What we know:

Tropical Storm Theta formed in the Atlantic Monday night. It poses no threat to land but was notable nonetheless, making 2020 a record-breaking hurricane season.

What is the likelihood of it gaining strength?

Not predicted to make landfall as of 11/10/2020 10:00AM

 

 

 

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October Hurricane Outlook

The tropics are quiet. Too quiet. We are still in the peak of Hurricane Season within the Atlantic and Pacific, but the seas are silent. However, this hiatus will not last long.

The month of October has featured several of the United States’ most vicious and ill-famed systems (i.e. Hurricane Michael in 2018).

During October, wind shear begins to increase over the eastern and central Atlantic which will tear a system apart before it develops. However, in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, the water temperatures are close to their warmest, and the wind shear remains close to its minimum.

Formation locations or tropical systems during October. (NHC/NOAA)

October is the most dangerous month for hurricanes for states like FL. Of the 112 recorded hurricanes to strike Florida since 1950, thirty-eight have occurred in October.

All Florida hurricanes since 1850 during the month of October (NHC, OPC, NOAA, HURDAT)

During month of October, there is a southward advance of the jet stream, as cold air begins to move over Canada. Which will facilitate fuel intense extratropical transitions because the remnants of hurricanes will move north.

What to Expect

By October 10th, rising motion related to consecutive convectively coupled Kelvin wave, a huge overturning circulation that meanders the tropics, will spread out around the western Atlantic. That upward motion can make it easier for storm clusters to become organized and a tropical system to mature, if one develops.

Broad rising motion will more than likely move in from the west and spread into the Western Atlantic by the second to third week of October. (CPC, NOAA)

 

During this point, the Madden-Julian Oscillation, or MJO — an analogous circulation that traverses the tropics monthly — is also supposed to enter a state that will cause a lot of storms and rain within the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

A phase 8 or 1 pattern would favor increased storms in the Gulf and Western Atlantic. (CPC, NOAA)

Even though some cooler waters linger within the northern Gulf after being churned up by Sally, the majority of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico stay warmer than usual. There is Plenty of heat to encourage a Hurricane if one does form.

Sea surface temperature anomalies in the Gulf of Mexico. (Tropical Tidbits)

 

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Tropical Depression Updates

[Update 11/13/2020 1:00PM]:

Tropical Depression Thirty-One

What we know:

Through Wednesday morning, heavy rainfall from Tropical Depression Thirty-One may lead to life-threatening flash flood and river flooding across portions of Haiti, Jamaica and Central America. Flooding and landslides from heavy rainfall could be significant across Central America given recovery efforts underway after Hurricane Eta.

What is the likelihood of it gaining strength?

The depression is expected to strengthen to a hurricane while it approaches the coast of Central America, and there is a risk of dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts across portions of Nicaragua and Honduras beginning Sunday night. Hurricane Watches will likely be issued for a portion of this area tonight.

 

 

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Tropical Disturbance Updates

[Update 12/02/2020 10:00AM]:

Tropical Disturbance 1

What we know:

A gale-force, non-tropical low pressure system is centered between the Madeira Islands and the Azores. This system has become less organized during the past 24 hours, and environmental conditions are expected to become less conducive for development as the system moves southwestward during the next day or two. Although subtropical development is now unlikely, this system will continue to produce strong winds and locally heavy rains in the Madeira Islands and the Azores through Wednesday.

What is the likelihood of it gaining strength?

Formation chance through 48 hours: 10 percent (Low).

Formation chance through 5 days: 10 percent (Low).

 

 

 

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