Thursday, September 29, 2022
Home SCIENCE Weather Tracker: Atlantic hurricane season may finally be starting to heat up...

Weather Tracker: Atlantic hurricane season may finally be starting to heat up | hurricanes

The Atlantic hurricane season so far has confounded forecasts for an active year, with only three named storms so far, none of which were hurricane-strength. In fact, this August so far joins 1997 and 1961 in having no named storms.

However, there are three months left in the season and activity is starting to move into the tropics. A group of thunderstorms in the central Atlantic has the potential to organize enough to become the first named storm since Colin in early July. If this occurs, it may move west and approach the Leeward Islands, bringing the threat of heavy rain towards the end of this week, but there is little indication that it will become a significant storm at this stage.

Many hurricanes begin their life cycle as a “tropical wave,” often off the west coast of Africa. These “waves” are broad areas of lower pressure with storms associated with them. Currently, this potential tropical system is simply one of these waves and is not guaranteed to develop further.

In Pakistan, the monsoon season has caused extreme flooding with more than 1,000 people killed in the last week and potentially millions displaced. While Pakistan and India are no strangers to severe flooding during the monsoon, the severity and scale this year is unusual. Fortunately, no more significant rain is expected in the coming days as the end of the monsoon season approaches.

Finally, a new burst of summer heat is expected to hit large swathes of North America in the coming days. Temperatures in many western US states will reach 30 degrees Celsius, with temperatures well above 40 C (104 F) in California by the end of the week. This heat will spread into southern Canada, with temperatures well into the 30s. This represents a deviation of around 10°C from the seasonal norm. However, in contrast, parts of Texas and Mexico will have temperatures that “struggle” to get into the mid-20s. This would be around 5-7C below average.

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