Hurricane Season 2017 Nears
Hurricane Season 2017 Nears
Hurricane Season 2017 begins on June 1st which is just 2 days from now. Nature doesn’t exactly flip a switch on and off when it comes to these things. While the season begins on June 1st, the threat for the East in June tends to be rare. Yes we have seen the odd storm here and there over the years. Probably the one that stands out the most for the Northeast and Middle Atlantic States is Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Agnes actually impacted 15 states and it was a record rainfall producer for parts of Eastern Pennsylvania. Many flood records were set and still stand to this day.
HURRICANE AGNES IMPACT HEAVY RAINFALL
When you look at the satellite photo you can see the cyclone inland and it has the look of what happens when tropical cyclones move into northern latitudes and gain characteristics more typical of non tropical cyclones. The satellite signature was impressive. However this was a rare occurrence.
HURRICANE SEASON 2017 SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES COMPARED TO AVERAGE
When we look at sea surface temperatures as compared to normal what is remarkable is that over the last few years we have seen large portions of the Atlantic above average by several degrees or more. This has been completely eliminated. In fact it is just about average everywhere across the Atlantic Basin with the exception of the Gulf of Mexico which is running a shade below average. Somehow the large anomalies have all be rectified back to their mean positions for the most part from Greenland to the Equator!
HURRICANE SEASON 2017 SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES
The actual sea surface temperatures continue to rise slowly. 26 Degrees C (79F) is usually the threshhold temperature to support tropical storms Upper level winds this time of year limit the development area to the Western Caribbean and parts of the Southeast Gulf of Mexico at the beginning of June. That development area spreads out somewhat by the end of June.
The map above shows the tropical systems that have formed during the first 10 days of June. Right now there is nothing that would suggest that this season would produce an anomaly. Notice that there are tracks of systems that have passed close to or just offshore however these were all in a fairly weakened state.
Notice that by the last 10 days of the month the points of orgin begin to spread out. Also there are a few systems that have developed along the East Coast though all the tracks were offshore. Sometimes upper level systems drop down from Canada and “cut off” along the Southeast US Coast. If they sit there long enough they can warm and a tropical cyclone could form from such a set up. With the appearance of blocking lately, this might be something we would have to watch for in the weeks ahead since there could be a tendency for something to separate from the main flow and drop off the coast. However there is nothing at this point that suggests such an event is going to happen.
The bottom line is that June for the Northeast & Middle Atlantic States is not a big threat period. It is August into October when water temperatures reach their peaks that we have to pay closer attention to. Over the coming weeks I will be giving talks on the subject. Click on the links for information on my appearances on Long Island at the Patchogue Medford Library on Wednesday May 31, and at the Sayville Library on Saturday June 3.
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