Frank's Weather or Not: In the tropics, quiet never lasts

By Frank Billingsley - Chief Meteorologist

Colorado State University just updated their hurricane forecast without much change -- still predicting a season with 14 named storms (we've had two already), 6 of those becoming hurricanes and 2 of those being Major of Cat 3 or higher. 

So subtracting Andrea and Barry from the mix, we're left with a 12-6-2 season to come and 'average' chances for a major strike in the Gulf of Mexico. Average, by the way, is a 30% chance. It's easy to get complacent right now when not much has happened and not much is forecast over the next two weeks. The reason? Wind Shear, which has been strong over the Caribbean and Gulf and continues to be. Here's the Friday Forecast--note the orange and yellow colors indicating high wind shear, which tears tropical storms apart:

Thank goodness for the wind as the water temps are plenty warm---we only need 80F to get a tropical system going (under the right circumstances even cooler):

Take note of this graph depicting Hurricanes (light grey) and Tropical storms since 1960 (the graph goes back to the 1800s, but pre-satellite date tends to be inaccurate:

While it looks like a skyline, you'll notice that busy seasons come and go, but hurricanes are always going to form. Every year. Alicia hit us in a quiet year, Andrew hit Miami in a quiet year. Speaking of Miami, I posted this amazing colorized video of the 1926 Hurricane that hit those folks who had no idea what was coming. It's worth the watch and a good reminder not to let your guard down!

Check it out here.

In the meantime, the National Hurricane Center will update its seasonal forecast tomorrow! I'll have that on-air and post it here Friday!

Stay cool--Heat Wave is still coming!

Frank

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