Hurricane season forecast to remain active in coming weeks

National Hurricane Center forecast map from 16 Sept.

For the latest information on storm activity in the Cayman Islands, as well as information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit Storm Centre.

The next two weeks of the Atlantic hurricane season are forecast to bring above-average activity, according to the latest report by Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project.

While there are currently no storms forecast to impact the Cayman Islands, residents should monitor weather forecasts throughout active storm months.

Hurricane Teddy, on track to impact Bermuda on Monday, is forecast to produce a majority of the overall energy expected from tropical cyclones during the 16-29 Sept. window.

The CSU forecast analyses Accumulated Cyclone Energy, a measure of the total wind energy produced by a tropical system over its lifetime.

A normal ACE measure for the forecast window would be from 6-23 ACE.

Hurricane Teddy could produce enough energy to push the two-week period into the upper third of the scale and surpass 23 ACE.

As of late Wednesday morning, Teddy was located east of the Lesser Antilles and tracking northwest towards the Bermuda area at 12 miles per hour, the US National Hurricane Center reported. Maximum sustained winds were recorded near 100 mph, with higher gusts. The NHC expected further strengthening over the next couple of days. Teddy could become a ‘major hurricane’, Category 3 or above, by Wednesday night.

No coastal watches or warnings were yet in effect for Teddy.

Source: Colorado State University

Large swells were expected to be generated by Teddy in parts of the Lesser Antilles and northeastern South America on Wednesday, before spreading outward to the Greater Antilles, Bahamas and Bermuda by Friday, NHC wrote.

While these swells could be life-threatening in certain areas, in Cayman the seas were forecast to remain slight with wave heights of 1 to 3 feet. Wednesday night, seas were forecast to be smooth to slight with waves of less than 2 feet, the Cayman Islands National Weather Service forecast.

As of Wednesday, none of the named storms, Teddy, Paulette, Sally or Vicky, posed a threat to Cayman.

CSU anticipates Paulette, Sally and Vicky to produce minimal ACE. While Paulette had weakened to a depression on Wednesday, forecasters noted the storm should strengthen back to a tropical storm before curving south and passing west of the Azores.

Swells from Paulette were expected to continue affecting Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas and parts of the US East Coast through Wednesday night, NHC forecast.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Sally made landfall Wednesday morning on the US Gulf Coast.

The NHC warned of “historic and catastrophic flooding” already occurring inland from west of Tallahassee, Florida, to Mobile Bay, Alabama. Storm surge along the coastline was life-threatening on Wednesday.

Significant, widespread flooding was likely for portions of Alabama and central Georgia, and possible in western South Carolina, western and central North Carolina and far southeast Virginia.

Tropical Storm Vicky weakened Wednesday and posed no threat to land.

CSU noted that its forecast for the 2-15 Sept. window did not meet expectations, resulting in normal ACE of around 25 for the period. CSU has predicted above-normal activity.

“While the two-week period did not reach the above-normal ACE threshold, it was quite active when evaluated by other metrics, with six named storms and four hurricanes forming,” CSU wrote.

During the 2-15 Sept. period, Paulette generated the most ACE with 13.5, followed by Sally with 4.8, Rene with 2.1, Teddy with 1.5, Vicky with 1.1 and Omar with 0.4.

So far, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has produced 74 ACE, which equals more than 25 full seasons since 1950, according to CSU meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.

The 2020 season has also included 63 named storm days, Klotzbach wrote on Twitter, a number that has only been surpassed by four seasons in the satellite era: 1995, 2005, 2008, 2012.

Six hurricanes – Hanna, Isaias, Laura, Nana, Paulette and Sally – have made landfall to date in 2020. Klotzbach noted that all six intensified by at least 15 mph in the 24 hours prior to making landfall.

The next CSU Tropical Meteorology forecast will be released 30 Sept.

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