USA Today has reported that hurricane experts from Colorado State University (CSU) have predicted an above-average hurricane season this year. How much above average? About 140%, they say. In addition, CSU predicts a 69% chance for a MAJOR hurricane (Cat 3, 4 or 5) to strike the mainland U.S.
Warm Atlantic and El Niño Seen as Main Factors
Reasons: unusually warm seawater in the Atlantic and the likely LACK of an El Niño in the Pacific. El Niño in the Pacific usually sets up wind shear that tears apart storms in the Atlantic. Said another way, they help keep tropical storms from developing into full-force hurricanes. But without El Niño, the lack of shear allows more storms to develop and creates active hurricane seasons.
CSU predicts 18 named storms will develop.
AccuWeather released its hurricane season predictions a week earlier. They predict 14-18 names storms. Of those, seven to nine will likely become hurricanes, and two to four are likely to hit the U.S. mainland.
NOAA should issue its forecast in late May.
Hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30.
March Warmth Unrelated to Hurricane Season
Jeff Lindner, Harris County Flood Control’s meteorologist, says that the unusually warm March that south Texas just experienced (about 8 degrees above normal) will have little effect on tropical storm formation. “There is some correlation with a warm Gulf of Mexico and severe weather and flooding along the Gulf Coast during the spring months. But there is little to no correlation to tropical activity in the Gulf during summer months.”
3-4 Inches of Rain Possible in Next 5 Days
Speaking of Spring rains, Lindner also predicts a stormy weather pattern will set up over our area for the next 5-7 days. He says “some severe weather and heavy rainfall will be possible.”
“Widespread rainfall amounts of 1-2 inches with isolated totals of 3-4 inches will be possible between this afternoon and Saturday,” says Lindner. He predicts the heaviest rainfall across area north of I-10. Storms could train, producing the higher rainfall amounts. But Lindner also adds, “It has been dry of late and the soil can take several inches of rainfall as long as it is not all at once.” So no one is talking about flooding at this point.
NOAA predicts a slight chance of severe storms Friday evening, mostly west of Houston.
Here’s where NOAA predicts the heaviest rains to fall during the next 5 days and what the total accumulations should be.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/2/2020
947 Days since Hurricane Harvey