Here’s the list of tropical storm names for the Atlantic (inc. Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico) for this year. The Atlantic had no named storm from July 9 (#Elsa dissipated) from July -August 10. Only twice in the recent active Atlantic #hurricane era (since 1995) has the Atlantic had no named storm activity between July 10 – August 10. Now the Atlantic has become active and should stay active for most of the next two months. We are now tracking two tropical systems:
Active Storms | Marine Forecasts 2-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook | 5-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook
As I write this Monday morning, Tropical Storm Fred will come onshore just west of Panama City, Florida. It has peak winds of around 50 mph and will produce some heavy rain as it moves up into E Alabama and NW Georgia. Grace is a Tropical Depression and has some showers/t-showers with (mostly) brief heavy rain and is drifting to the west-northwest south of Cuba. Grace will get into the southern Gulf of Mexico and move into Mexico. Neither storm is expected to be a serious hurricane. Another tropical depression near Bermuda could reach tropical storm status and become “Henri”.
Here’s the track map, timing and latest discussion on Tropical Storm Fred, which will move toward Pensacola/Mobile with strong wind gusts and heavy rainfall.
Tropical Storm Grace will move past the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispanola and the Bahamas before tracking toward Florida. It should be a tropical storm (winds of 40-74 mph) or perhaps a weak hurricane when it reaches Florida (not a major hurricane).
Interests along the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast should pay attention to weather forecasts over the next 2 months – the height of hurricane season – as the La Nina pattern should bring an above average number of hurricanes and tropical storms.
The Ace Index is what meteorologists and climatologists use to track and compare tropical storms/hurricanes. It’s a measure of the strength and number of tropical storms. The most trusted and up-to-date Ace Index is tracked by Colorado State University and you can check it out here. While we expect an above average tropical storm count in the Atlantic this year, it’s important to note the GLOBAL Ace Index.
As of today, we’re a little above (average) in the Atlantic, 13.6 vs. average of 12.0…the entire world (combined Northern and Southern Hemispheres) is below average-to-date, 152.0 vs. the average-to-date of 169.6.
When it comes to natural disasters, it’s important to look at the big picture. California has had a terrible wildfire season this year, with the Dixie Fire becoming the largest wildfire in California history, but the rest of the U.S. has had a below average wildfire season. Year-to-date, the number of acres burned in the U.S. (10-year-average) is at 3,893,239. The 10-year average-to-date is 4,597,102. So, in terms of acres burned, this has been a below average wildfire season. The past 3 years have all been below the 10-year average in terms of acres burned.