The 2020 hurricane season has been busier than ever, with a record number of named storms before the peak of the season. To date, the U.S. has seen three hurricanes, 13 total storms, and now, the development of four tropical disturbances off the Caribbean and Atlantic.
Of all the tropical storms and hurricanes to make landfall this year, Hurricane Laura was, by far, the most dangerous and intense, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Crossing the Gulf of Mexico early last week, Hurricane Laura strengthened from a Category 1 to a Category 4 in less than 24 hours. With wind speeds as high as 240 kph, Laura swept through the Caribbean before making landfall in Louisiana. In its ferocious wake, Hurricane Laura left behind destroyed property, power outages, and, unfortunately, death.
Additionally, WMO experts made a shocking claim that Laura generated more accumulated cyclone energy than the four previous storms in August combined.
Identifying Developing Storms
Currently, there are four tropical disturbances registering across the eastern Atlantic and Caribbean. While it’s too soon to tell whether these storms will progress to hurricane-status, here’s what we do know:
- Tropical Wave #1 is currently settling over northeast Florida, causing a series of storms and showers. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicts this tropical disturbance will soon become a tropical depression by the middle of the week as it moves northeastward or east-northeastward and offshore.
- Tropical Wave #2 has been detected in the eastern Caribbean. Presenting itself as a cluster of thunderstorms, the disturbance is displaying signs of organization with an 80% chance of development in the next five days. According to the NHC, a tropical depression is likely to form as it moves westward and may impact Jamaica, Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and the Yucatan.
- Tropical Wave #3 is westward-moving in the eastern Atlantic with a 30% chance of development over the next week. Slower moving, this tropical wave is a few hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.
- Tropical Wave #4 is situated in the eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa. Similar to the third disturbance, this tropical wave only has a 30% chance of development as the week progresses.
Being Prepared this Hurricane Season
The last few months of a hurricane season tend to be some of the most active, which is why it is so important to always be prepared. Planning and preparing for a hurricane can make all the difference in your safety and the safety of your family.
Here’s how you can stay informed and prepared through this year’s busy hurricane season:
- Sign up for local alerts and warnings, and monitor local weather reports
- Map out your town’s evacuation route and shelter locations
- Have a ‘go bag’ packed and ready
- Keep a stocked inventory of emergency supplies and food
- Locate and safeguard all financial, medical, educational, and legal documents
The impact of hurricanes can be severe and extensive, which is why it’s imperative to be prepared and take the necessary action to protect yourself, your family, and your property. For more resources about hurricane risk and preparedness, be sure to visit reputable sites such as ready.gov/prepare, NOAA.gov, and more.
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