Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
Photo by Shashank Sahay / Unsplash

2020 all things considered is shaping up to the be the strangest year to date. We've watched Australia burn, COVID spread and now named hurricanes earlier in the year than expected.

Source - Ella Dorsey

So imagine my surprise when I see this tweet across my stream about two almost hurricanes, at the same time, approaching into the gulf. I don't think I've ever seen this once in my lifetime, so off to Google I went to identify if this had happened before.

I found two interesting dates. First we have June 18, 1959 when both Tropical Storm Beulah existed with a non-named storm in the gulf. So this doesn't count as the 2nd storm was unnamed, but an interesting stat none-the-less.

I wasn't happy with that, so kept digging and found that in 1933 the Cuba-Brownsville hurricane struck Texas and then Florida had it's own tropical storm hitting the shore. However, that is still not two named hurricanes so I think we can safely say this is the first time this has happened.

As of today, August 29 2020 (when I'm writing this post). Hurricane Laura had already struck at the Texas-Louisiana border at a CAT4 storm packing winds of 150mph. This quickly dropped to 100mph, but still a dangerous CAT2 storm capable of doing a fair amount of damage.

The Marco storm briefly peeked at a hurricane in the middle of the gulf (as shown above), but then collapsed to a tropical storm, then depression before slamming into the Louisiana coast as nothing but a rough storm.

So the dual hurricanes in the gulf might have happened for a brief moment, but only one was a true dangerous storm. Though, that got me thinking - why is this hurricane season so early?

Weather.com - 2020 Atlantic Season Status

Looking at an animation I saw we have had quite a lot of named storms and September hasn't even hit. The average is normally 13 named storms for the entire season and we hit it before August was over.

I hope this doesn't mean we are building ourselves up for the most dangerous hurricane season to date, because I don't think 2020 can take it.

If we take a step back though and only examine named storms that targeted the United States we can look at weather.com again for a graphic.

2020 Static Report - weather.com

I would expect something like this at the end of the year, not before August's end. This is going to be one crazy hurricane season and I hope Florida can continue the luck and stay out of the path of a storm.

Though, the Atlantic is already buzzing again with more storms in formation. The 8pm update on August 30 from NOAA resulted in the below graphic.

NOAA - Aug 30 - 8pm EDT

It seems one of the storms may form and then just fizzle out in the ocean, and the other Caribbean disturbance may just collapse after hitting the Mexico/Belize border.

The sub 40% chance storm near Africa is too early to tell, but the odds are in the favor for that one to just collapse into a regular storm. Keep watching as this year is going to continue to surprise - even with hurricanes.

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