Sunday Story: Hurricane Season 2019

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Before we get into the Sunday Story, just be aware that we will likely have isolated t-storms around today. If a storm does form, it could become strong, with gusty winds and small hail. Just be aware of that. I think most of us will stay dry but the ones who do see a storm could see a rather potent one.

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Also, the National Hurricane Center is still monitoring that system in the southwest Gulf of Mexico. It has a 60% chance of developing into a tropical storm before it moves into Mexico within the next 48 hours.

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I couldn’t resist taking some pics around the farm last evening. What a beautiful evening!

 

And now, for your Sunday Story!

Hurricane Season 2019

The first tropical storm of the 2019 hurricane season formed on May 20th, nearly two weeks before the official start of hurricane season. Since records began being kept in 1960, only seven other years had named storms form in May.

Despite this year’s season getting off to an early start, the official forecast for this upcoming hurricane season is for a slightly below-average season. This annual forecast is made by Colorado State University (CSU).

An average hurricane season has 13 named storms, with five becoming hurricanes and two becoming major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). A storm is named when winds reach 39 mph or greater. A storm becomes a hurricane when winds reach 74 mph or greater.  

CSU bases their forecasts off long-range computer modelling, which they admit is quite the challenge.

Last year, Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as only the fourth category 5 hurricane (winds greater than 155 mph) to ever make landfall on U.S. soil. Hurricanes range in category from one to five, with five being the most powerful.

The challenge of forecasting the location of a hurricane’s landfall has improved significantly over the years. The greatest challenge today is forecasting intensity at landfall. Interestingly, all four category 5 hurricanes that have hit the U.S. were only tropical storms three days prior to landfall. That’s a lot of strengthening in only a few days!

The hurricane season was first defined 85 years ago and ran from June 15 to October 31. By 1965, the season had been redefined to include our current dates of June 1-November 30.

With storms forming earlier in the season, there is now discussion of moving the beginning of the season back two weeks to May 15.  

Let’s hope and pray this season is kind to our coastlines!

5-day outlook (9)

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