Hurricane Season came early this year. “Cyclone season” doesn’t truly begin until June 1. That hasn’t stopped a storm off the East Coast of Florida from causing everyone to hold their breath and watch the radar, though. A storm with the potential to become a hurricane has been chugging along northward for several days.
Luckily though, it looks like Florida is going to avoid a severe storm…for now. According to the Orlando Sentinel, “The system appears unlikely to become a subtropical or tropical cyclone since it is forecast to remain frontal while moving generally northward and inland over the Carolinas this weekend,” said NHC hurricane specialist Philippe Papin.”
Essentially what that means is that conditions are not suitable for a cyclone formation. Without a cyclone, neither a hurricane nor a tropical storm can occur.
In order for a cyclone to form, thunderstorms, developing over tropical oceans, where the weather is warm, gets caught up in a low-pressure system which causes rotation. Left to their own devices, the storms will continue to rotate and grow in size until a tropical cyclone forms. When a storm is forward moving only, like this one, it doesn’t have a chance to get caught up in a pressure system that will cause rotation.
This is good news for Florida. Though June is the official start of hurricane season, damaging storms have been seen earlier and earlier. In fact, Florida saw a tropical depression in January, well outside the expected time frame for such a storm. That is another thing you can blame on Global Warming.
Credit: National Hurricane Center
Even though the storm is unlikely to become cyclonic, Florida still isn’t in the clear for Memorial Day weekend. The storm has been slow-moving, dumping buckets of rain on Florida all week. This is likely to continue through the weekend. What’s more, strong rip currents and what I call “washing machine waves” (dangerous surf conditions that look like the ocean is on a spin cycle) are to be expected with a storm this size. That means your holiday weekend swim could become exceptionally dangerous.
The National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center are closely monitoring the storm. For now, though, it looks like Floridians can breathe a sigh of relief as the storm takes aim at the Carolinas. This hurricane season has been predicted to be lower than average, which is welcome news in Central Florida after it was rocked by Hurricane Ian last season.