A Look At The Tropics At “Peak Season”

The Weather Authority

The average “peak season” for the North Atlantic hurricane season was a couple of days ago.

We’re right around the peak of hurricane season

As we head into the second half of the season, let’s take a look at where things stand. By some measures, it’s been quite the active season so far.

Sally is the next name up and will likely be used as Tropical Depression 19 strengthens in the Gulf

We’ve already had 17 named storms this year, and we’re rapidly approaching the end of our list of names for 2020. We’ve already talked about what happens when we get to the end of that list. That’s certainly an impressive number of storms. We’ve normally only had 6 or 7 by this point in the season. 5 of those storms have been hurricanes at some point in their lifespan too, which is above the average at this point of the season of 3. But, most of these hurricanes have been on the weaker end of the scale, and haven’t maintained a high intensity for all that long. Because of that, one of our favorite measures for tropical activity tells a little different story.

Accumulated Cyclone Energy Shows about an average season so far, and below average for the entire Northern Hemisphere

Tropical Accumulated Cyclone Energy looks at the total amount of energy produced by storms through the season. Therefore, it isn’t swayed as much by a lot of weaker, or short-duration storms as much. We’ve had several of those this year, and our A.C.E. is actually right around average in the North Atlantic Basin. Keep in mind, the Colorado State forecast called for 200 A.C.E. by the end of the season. While that may not quite happen, there’s no reason to think A.C.E. won’t shoot well above average through the second half of the season. Even now, we’re adding to that A.C.E. with multiple disturbances throughout the basin.

Multiple Systems To Watch

Paulette looks like the best candidate to immediately boost that A.C.E. total. While Paulette doesn’t appear to be a direct threat to the U.S., it does look to intensify into a hurricane (perhaps even Cat. 3+) by next week. Strong hurricanes that last a while (like Paulette is expected to be) are the kind of storms that can really boost A.C.E. On the other hand, we also have Tropical Storm Rene. Rene appears likely to weaken into a depression in the coming days. 2 more waves in the Eastern Atlantic may develop into a tropical depression or storm fairly soon as well, so additional storms are likely to develop in the coming week. The storm that has our immediate attention, though, is Tropical Depression 19.

More on TD 19:

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– Alex Puckett
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