The cyclone season will be even more active than anticipated and with COVID-19

The private meteorological services company AccuWeather updated its forecasts for the 2020 cyclone season in the Atlantic basin on Thursday, because, although it announced that it was going to be above normal, it fell short in the numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes.

In the forecast updated on March 25, two possible tropical storms are added to leave a range of 14 to 20, of which between 7 and 11 will become hurricanes, also two more.


And the worst news of all: four to six of those hurricanes will reach category three or more (in the previous forecast they were two to four), according to a statement published this Thursday.

According to the AccuWeather meteorology team led by Dan Kottlowksi, with 43 years of experience, between four and six of the named tropical systems could directly impact the continental United States, Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands.

The new forecast of the company founded in 1962 reinforces the idea that cyclonic activity in the Atlantic will be above normal, as it was also in 2019, which was already present in the forecast at the end of March.


The information raises concern in Florida, where there are fears that the efforts focused on the COVID-19 pandemic will reduce those necessary to prepare properly for hurricanes, not to mention the additional damage that damage from a hurricane.

Kottolowski noted in the statement that the climate model they use has registered a tendency for the La Niña phenomenon to develop in the second half of the summer of 2020.

"That may mean a decrease in vertical wind shear or shear that can limit the development or intensification of tropical systems," he added.

With the name of shear the change of speed or direction of the wind due to the altitude is known. It is a phenomenon that can cause the highest parts of a storm or hurricane to head in the opposite direction that the system is moving,


The official hurricane season in the Atlantic basin begins on June 1 and ends on November 30, but the last two years there has been cyclonic activity in May, with storms Andrea (2019) and Alberto (2018) before the official calendar.

Kottlowksi said it will be a "very active" season, which is never good for the region, but this year may be even worse due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the AccuWeather meteorologist, about 12 tropical storms and 6 hurricanes occur in a typical season. The strongest hurricanes are usually at most three.

The last four seasons have been above normal.

The one in 2019, according to AccuWeather, was exceptionally active, only comparable to the one in 1969, with 18 storms, powerful hurricanes such as Dorian, Lorenzo and Humberto and losses and damages of $ 11 billion.


With nearly 39,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,600 deaths, Florida is celebrating Hurricane Preparedness Week these days, but it is going unnoticed by the pandemic and the first steps of the economy's revival plan.

The state's director of emergency management, Jared Moskowitz, is working with FEMA, the federal agency for those issues, on possible changes to evacuation and shelter plans due to COVID-19.

According to statements published this Wednesday, they are thinking of shelters only for infected people and ordering some people to stay at home instead of evacuating their homes.


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