For Texas, hurricane season is coming to an end. Here’s what to expect for the rest of it – Space City weather

This is a rather long article and we have divided it into two parts. First we take a look at what to expect for Texas during the remainder of September, when it comes to hurricane season. TL;DR There that things are looking pretty good, but we still have a few weeks to go. Part two of this post was written by Matt Lanza at the Atlantic hurricane website, The Eyewall. It provides a broader look at the activity so far in the Atlantic Basin, and what that might mean for the rest of the season.

Part 1: This is definitely the heart of hurricane season in Texas

Historically, the majority of major tornadoes that have struck Texas have occurred in the month of September. The most famous hurricane was the Galveston of 1900, which made landfall on September 8. Most recently there was Hurricane Ike, which made landfall on September 13, 2008. This is the time of year when we see tropical waves forming off the coast of Africa. , tracking across the Atlantic Ocean, and moving into the Gulf of Mexico. I never schedule my vacations in late August and September because that is the “go” time for big storms.

Mid-September is often the high season for tropical systems in the Gulf of Mexico. (National Hurricane Center)

But as hurricane season reaches its peak, it’s winding down too quickly for Texas. As I wrote in a famous — or infamous in some quarters — article, the odds of a hurricane hitting Texas drop sharply after about September 24th. It’s too early to say if that will be the case this year, but the fact is that we will probably have about another three or four weeks of peak-time hurricane season in Texas. After that, we should be able to breathe a little easier.

So, what’s on the menu for September 2023?

As usual, we are seeing large, powerful storms developing in the Atlantic Ocean this year. The good news is that, with the exception of Hurricane Idalia, they have moved away from the Gulf of Mexico. We’ve had a lot of fish storms this year, and that’s good. This is also likely to be the case with the incoming Tropical Storm Lee, which should become a powerful hurricane this week. Read below for more details, but the bottom line is that we expect this to be repeated before approaching the Gulf of Mexico.

European model group projections show almost no chance of a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico until mid-September. (weather bell)

Looking at mid-September, we don’t see any major threats to the Gulf or Texas. Not only are there few signs of storms forming or moving into the Gulf, but wind shear levels look high over the next 10 days or even two weeks. This should prevent any important activity. However, that leaves an open window for the last 10 days of September when storm activity will be possible. The bottom line is, we’re very close to the end of the 2023 Texas hurricane season, but we’re not quite there yet. Given the very warm seas there, if wind shear decreases, the end of September could be a swing in the Gulf of Mexico.

So, we’ll continue to monitor things for you, and may post again later next week when we have more information around the end of the month.

Part Two: Taking stock of the 2023 Atlantic season so far

Back in June when we launched The Eyewall, one of the things we did was really dig into the components of the seasonal forecast. We’ve made it clear that the 2023 hurricane season will be more challenging than usual, as a developing El Niño, which usually reduces storm activity, will encounter a very warm Atlantic Ocean, an advantage that could be good for busy storm activity. So far, this battle seems to be exactly what we are all about. The “consensus” forecasts were 16 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major ones. As of Monday, we’re sitting at 12 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 2 major ones.

This season’s accumulated hurricane energy, or ACE, is about 125 percent of normal for the first week of September.

As of yesterday, the Atlantic Ocean was running about 125 percent of normal activity, in ACE’s view. (Colorado State University)

If the season ends now, we’ll be in the top tier of the “less than normal” seasons. In other words, we already have a very large base and it looks like we’re on our way to a midseason. Hurricanes Adalia, Don and Franklin, the three hurricanes of the season, account for nearly 75 percent of the seasonal hurricanes so far. So three legitimate storms make up the majority of the total.

In June we said we thought the Caribbean would struggle (which it mostly does), that the eastern Atlantic would be crowded (it was closer to the mid-Atlantic, so that point is a bit more murky), and that the most concerning elements of the season It would be systems forming close to home (Idalia is banking on that). So far, this has been mostly as expected, if not a bit busier. Kudos to the seasonal forecasters for not getting involved with El Niño only.

where are we going?

Well, this week we will probably see another big jump in the seasonal ace when Lee forms.

The probable course for Lee’s future should head north of the islands but could affect Bermuda. It will be a very strong storm. Follow Favorite

From our morning article, you can read how we expect it to become a major hurricane, and it is likely to be at least a Category 4 storm. That would be a huge plus for ACE, and I suspect we’ll see things ramp up at least into the 70s once Lee is finished, pushing us into “mid” seasons if he ends up there. Behind me, we may encounter another storm in the eastern Atlantic, so there is a chance of a few more ACE units.

But here’s something. If you look at the EC forecast for wind shear for the 11th to the 15th, which brings us closer to September 20th now, you can see that the Gulf and Western Atlantic are being torn apart by shear.

Wind shear is expected to remain well above normal in the Gulf and western Atlantic in the middle of the month. (tropical tales)

If this happens as expected, anything in the Gulf will suffer, as will anything coming from the Caribbean. However, low wind shear in the eastern Atlantic and mid-Atlantic suggests that these are areas where storms could persist, meaning the legacy of the 2023 season continues so far. We may see a return to less hostile conditions in the Gulf and Western Atlantic in the last days of September, but that is clearly a long way off.

What does El Niño tell us?

Quite frankly, if we assume that El Niño is rising and buzzing now and its effect is strengthening, we should expect to see a lot of what we’ve already seen during the remainder of the hurricane season. Here is a map of all hurricanes in September and October since 1950 when the Oceanic El Niño Index (ONI) was 1.0 or greater in June, July and August (this year’s value is 1.1).

Hurricane seasons most similar to this season in terms of El Niño produced lots of storms in the mid-Atlantic in September and October and there weren’t many serious impacts on the ground. (NOAA)

With a few notable exceptions, this map shows many fish storms and mesoscale systems in the western Atlantic Ocean. The two most notable exceptions are Joaquín in 2015 which claimed 34 lives (33 of them were on board the El Faro). So is Betsy in 1965, which killed 81 people and sank New Orleans. Emily in 1987 hit Hispaniola and Bermuda. And I think that sums up the season so far: lots of moderate and mostly fish storms with one strong hit in Idalia.

Overall, looking at what we’re seeing on the maps now and looking at how the season is going, there are two main regions that probably should watch for impacts on the ground: Bermuda and the Greater Antilles. If we can relax enough late in the season and get a Caribbean turbulence coming just north, you never know what we can get out of that, and that often threatens Cuba or Jamaica or Hispaniola or the Bahamas. Bermuda is still in target line I think for at least one or two more storms. Finally, the eastern Gulf or off the southeastern coast could be secondary areas to watch, given the warm waters and the potential for the right things to come together at the wrong time, just as we saw with Idalia and to a much lesser extent. Harold in Texas earlier this season.

Will it be enough to push the ace above the normal for the season at the end? Not sure, but it will be soon.

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