June 25, 2021

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With more than two months to go, the 2020 hurricane season is already one for the history books

The peak period of the hurricane season is just beginning and already has multiple records for the balance in early formation of tropical cyclones, confirmed the National Meteorological Service (SNM) in San Juan.

Although the Center for Climate Prediction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, in English) predicted that the season would be hyperactive, the same or more than that of the year 2005, the fact that the theory materializes does not stop impressing the experts of the weather conditions.

This was established by the meteorologist Lee Ann Inglés Serrano, who works at the SNM, noting that it is not two weeks since September and 18 cyclones have already formed, of which 17 were named storms, five reached hurricane force and one of them was intense.

“It might sound strong, but the reality is that there is still much to this season that has already been hyperactive, as predicted by NOAA. The forecast said 19 to 25 named storms would form of which seven to 11 would be hurricanes and three to six of those would be intense. We are already through 18 cyclones and we are hardly at the peak so it is possible that we will reach or exceed the forecast, because the season extends until November “, highlighted the expert in an interview with The new day.

Of the 17 tropical storms, only three failed to set a new record: Arthur, Bertha and Edouard. In general, the new records set are for rapid cyclonic formation relative to all tropical cyclones that have been recorded in climatological history since 1950.

Graph showing names for tropical cyclones in the 2020 hurricane season. (NOAA)

For example, Hurricane Hanna, the first of this season, is the first cyclone whose name begins with H that formed in the month of July. This fact had never happened in history, since the previous mark dates from 2005 when Hurricane Harvey formed on August 3. Hanna reached Category 1 and made landfall with winds of 90 miles per hour (mph).

The second hurricane was Isaías which reached Category 1 and made landfall with winds of 85 mph. Isaías, which passed through Puerto Rico as a tropical storm and left more than six inches of rain, became a hurricane on July 30, breaking Irene’s record of reaching hurricane strength for the month of August 2005. .

The only severe hurricane so far is Laura that reached Category 4 and made landfall with sustained winds of 150 mph and higher gusts. This hurricane surpassed the record of Hurricane Luis, which was, until this year, the intense hurricane that had formed the fastest in August since 1995.

However, that was not the only record Laura broke, but the cyclone also marked the largest intensification within a 24-hour period ever recorded for a cyclone in the Atlantic during the month of August. The previous record was held by Hurricane Irma on August 31, 2017, according to the scientist from the Department of Atmospheric Science at the University of Colorado Philip Klotzbach.

Nana was also the hurricane, whose name begins with “N” that formed the fastest compared to the rest of the cyclones registered by NOAA since 1950. Its hurricane force reached it on September 3, several days before the previous mark. corresponding to Hurricane Nate since September 2005.

Furthermore, Hurricane Marco broke the record for having formed in August, a fact that had not occurred with a cyclone named with the letter “M” since Hurricane Maria in September 2005. By that date, Maria was on the list of names that they could be used to identify a cyclone.

After the passage of Hurricane María in September 2017 through Puerto Rico, the World Meteorological Organization removed it from the list of names due to the devastation it caused and the lives it claimed.

Storms this hurricane season that set records for their early formation:

  • Tropical storm Cristobal: Formed on June 5, 2020, and the previous record dates from 2016 when Storm Collin reached storm force later that month.
  • Tropical Storm Dolly: It was the fourth tropical storm to form in the Atlantic this year and the second during the hurricane season, because prior to the start of the date, on June 1, storms Arthur and Bertha had already developed. Dolly broke the record for Storm Danielle in 2016, having formed on June 23, days before the previous mark.
  • Tropical Storm Fay: It was formed on July 9, so it established a new brand compared to the previous one that belonged to Franklin in July 2005.
  • Tropical storm Gonzalo: It formed on July 22, days before the previous record for a storm with the letter “G” corresponding to Gert whose cyclonic formation as a storm occurred in late July 2005.
  • Tropical Storm Josephine: It formed in August and broke the previous record for Storm José dating back to 2005.
  • Tropical Storm Kyle: It was formed on August 14, days before Katrina turned into a storm in 2005.
  • Tropical Storm Omar: It was formed on September 1. It is the named storm beginning with “O” that formed earlier before the peak of the season. The previous record was from Storm Ophelia, which formed in mid-September 2005.
  • Tropical Storm Paulette: It was formed on September 7 and became the storm whose name begins with the letter “P” that forms the earliest since there are records. The earlier mark had been set by Storm Philippe that formed on September 17, 2005.
  • Tropical storm René: Also, it was formed on September 7 and broke the record as the storm whose name begins with the letter “P” that forms earlier during the hurricane season. Previously, the record was for storm Rita that formed in September 2005.

Most of the systems that had already established a record for early formation were developed in 2005. Precisely, the cyclonic season of that year is the most active and the one that produced the most cyclones since there are climatological records with a balance of 28 cyclones. named.

According to Inglés Serrano, this season is the one that can be compared with the current one, since both have produced a large number of cyclones due to the favorable conditions in the Atlantic. However, in the number of cyclones before the peak, the current season exceeds that of 2005, according to the expert.

“The 2005 season is the most similar to this year, but it cannot be compared in its entirety, because this (season) has been the one with the most storms with earlier formation. These types of vigorous storms are seen at the end of July, beginning of August, but this year we were already seeing them since June “explained the meteorologist.

According to NOAA, a typical hurricane season averages 10 to 12 storms, of which six become hurricanes and of those three would be intense. For this reason, when comparing the forecast of the current season with the average, the meteorological agency classifies it as hyperactive.

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