Tomorrow begins the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.
Why June 1 to Nov. 30? Because 80-degree water is the magic number to get thunderstorms forming in the tropics which organize into tropical cyclones. Generally, the Gulf, Caribbean and Atlantic are that temperature or higher during that time, but, as we saw with Andrea earlier this month, there are exceptions.
The latest a storm has struck the Texas coast is Oct. 15 and 16, 1989 -- Hurricane Jerry, and that name is back on the list this year. We start to get our first cold fronts in late September bringing in westerly winds which protect us. So by mid-October, we can usually relax. Here are this year's names:
So how far down that list will we go? NOAA is predicting somewhere between Imelda and Olga:
You'll notice there is quite the range there. NOAA names three factors in their forecast, the first being El Niño, that warmer than normal Pacific water. Warm water creates warm air which rises and creates wind. That wind crosses Central America to topple hurricanes trying to form, much like those October westerly winds crossing the Gulf:
So El Niño is a help in creating a below average season. Speaking of warm water, the Atlantic is beginning to warm up as it always does and in some spots is already a little warmer than normal. Notice the orange colors here in the Atlantic:
The Caribbean and South America are in the lower left, Africa to the far right.
So that warm water would supply an average hurricane season. Then there is the above average possibility thanks to the African Monsoon and storms that would come off the African coast into the Atlantic and become hurricanes:
So the NOAA forecast with its range of nine to 15 storms going from below to average to above breaks down like this:
And if we get the ONE, then game on. We're here to help! Our Hurricane Headquarters is right here while our 2019 Hurricane and Flood Survival Guide is here. All for FREE, of course, including our Hurricane App for your smartphone which you can find in your app store.
Don't forget the Hurricane and Severe Weather Expo at the GRB from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. June 8. That is also free.
See you there and on TV!