2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season|
|| Arthur | Bertha | Cristobal | Dolly | Edouard | Fay | Gonzalo | Hanna | Isaias | Josephine | Kyle | Laura | Marco | Nana | Omar | Paulette | Rene | Sally | Teddy | Vicky | Wilfred | Alpha | Beta | Gamma | Delta | Epsilon | Zeta | Eta | Theta | Iota ||
Active Tropical Systems: None!
Atlantic Hurricane Season is from June 1 - November 30
GOES Satellite - Zoomed in on the Caribbean (12:30 UTC, 11 minutes ago)
Scale bar (lower right) is 250 miles. [more satellite imagery].
See storm-centered satellite image and loop in the tools section below (if available)
Friday, April 9, 2021 10:27AM PDT - La Sourfriere on St.Vincent erupting
- This morning La Soufriere on St.Vincent erupted, sending a 2 mile high cloud of ash up in the sky. Evacuation orders have been issued. I have asked my special hurricane correspondents on St.Vincent for some updates. Hope we get some local reports! Surrounding islands have offered to take in evacuees, of course, further complicated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous eruptions were in 1979, 1902, 1812 and 1718, so it is not a common event. The ash of the eruption might affect some other islands as well... Wishing everyone well. -Gert
Thursday, April 8, 2021 17:11PM PDT - Above average 2021 hurricane season?
- It is that time of the year again that Klotzbach et al. at Colorado State issue their forecast for the season. Again, they are calling for an above normal season with 17 tropical storms (12.1 is normal), 8 hurricanes (6.4 is average) of which 4 reaching Category 3 or higher (2.7 is normal). The probability of at least one major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean is 58% (normal is 42%). Note that this is a large area, this is not the chance that your island will get hit.
The main reasons for a potential busy season are above average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic and an absence of El Nino conditions, which normally suppresses hurricane activity. So nothing to surprising. What made me look though was the 'analogue years' they picked. These are years with similar atmospheric and oceanic conditions as the current year. They picked 1996, 2001, 2008 (Ike and Paloma), 2011 and last but not least, 2017 (Irma and Maria!!!). Hope it won't be similar to 2017! Number of storms doesn't say it all, you only need one to spoil your whole season, and last year we had 30 named storms with not much affect on us... In any case.., now is a good time to prepare, hurricane season starts in less than 2 months! -Gert
Saturday, March 20, 2021 10:35AM PDT - No more Alpha, Beta, ...
- The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has deciced to stop using the Greek alphabet when we run out of names. We have only ran out of names twice so far. In 2005 we needed 6 Greek letters, and last year a record 9! However, it seems more likely that we will run out of names again in the future, mostly because of climate change.
Apparently using the Greek alphabet was too distracting and confusing. Some of the reasons listed here by the WMO is that there might be too much focus on the novelty of using Alpha, Beta, etc., which can take the focus off the actual impacts of the storm. Also apparently these names can be confusing when translated into other languages. The names also sounded quite similar, like Zeta, Eta and Theta, which can be confusing. Plus there was uncertainty how to deal with retiring Greek letters.
The new plan is to use a supplemental list of names, starting again with the letter A, and which can be retired (and replaced). I am not sure how that helps with the first reason listed, I think that it will be just as 'news worthy' to have to revert to the Supplemental List as the Greek Alphabet. There are still no plans to use names starting with the letters Q, U, X, Y or Z because there are not enough 'common' names to be used in the 6-year rotating lists of names. I hope this is all a moot point and that we never have to use the supplemental list though! -Gert
Saturday, January 2, 2021 12:31PM PST - Happy New Year
- Happy 2021 to all my Caribbean friends! Let's hope that things will go back to more normal without any bad (is)landfalling storms. Hoping for the best for people on St.Vincent and Martinique with their rumbling volcanoes! Stay safe everybody. -Gert
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 09:53AM PST - Finally!
- A record breaking season in many ways has finally come to an end! And there were many records, to name a few: most named storms (30, old record was 28 in 2005), earliest forming C-storm and earliest E-storm onwards, most storms formed in September (10, was 8), most major hurricanes after Oct.1 (4, was 2), etc. See a long list in Klotzbach et al summary of 2020 season.
For us however it has been pretty good. There were of course bad storms in the western Caribbean affecting Nicaragua, Honduras and the Yucaton, esp. Eta and Iota, the worst storms of the season. Then we had Isaias, that passed along the Bahamas (esp. in Grand Bahama and Abaco, hit badly last year by Dorian, it was tense). Also Bermuda seemed to be a magnet this year for hurricanes! But other than that for the islands it was pretty good. Indeed, hard to believe, but this season there was only one hurricane in the Atlantic between the islands and Africa, Teddy. See preliminary map below of Ethan Gibney (NOAA) copied from Klotzbach's summary.
Thank you to all our special hurricane correspondents who reported what happened around them. Without you this website would not exist! Esp. thank you to Isabel from St.Croix who posted every day and delighted us with her beautiful pictures of her garden, views and animals! Also thank you to all the people who donated and clicked on the ugly ads! Unfortunately donations were down a lot this year, probably because of COVID related economics, but we will see you next year nevertheless!!! (And isn't it 'Giving Tuesday', it is not too late to donate!) -Gert
|- - - 2020 Storm Tracks (Ethan Gibney (NOAA)) - - -|
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 14:22PM PST - Deadly Iota
- Just wanted to refer you to Jeff Master's blog at Yale Climate Connections who did an excellent write up of the effects of Iota on Central America and Providencia Island. Not good. A good place to donate would be World Vision. -Gert
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 11:44AM PST - Iota
- Just 2 weeks ago Eta made landfall as a Category 4 in Nicaragua, now, just 15 miles south, Iota made landfall as a strong Category 4 storm after slightly weakening from Category 5 status! Unprecedented in many ways, of course it is totally unusual for 2 Cat-4 storms to strike the same location, unimaginable. Moreover Cat-4 storms are very rare this late in the season. Before this season only 4 Category 4+ hurricanes occurred in November or later (of which Lefty Lenny in 1999 was one) since 1951, so now we have 6...
I sound like a broken record unfortunately, but this storm will dump a lot of rain in the same place as Eta did. According to the advisories, locally (though isolated we hope) up to 30 inch (75 cm)... This will result in deadly flooding, mudslides, ... Two weeks ago Eta didn't get much attention in the media while it was creating havoc in Central America because of all the brouhaha going on in the USA. Hopefully this time will be different. Help will for sure be needed! If you want to donate, Jeff Masters recommended World Vision in his excellent blog post of today. On his blog he also posted the image below by Pierre Markuse of the eye of Ioata just before it made landfall...
Monday, November 16, 2020 10:11AM EST
- Deadly Iota
11/16 Update: Hurricane Iota did reach Category 5 hurricane status officially just a short while ago at 160 mph sustained with further potential before landfall. On top of Eta 2 weeks ago, this will be devastating. One of the worse things is many will not be informed Iota is coming due to the damage and lack of communications inflicted just 2 weeks ago by Cat 4 Eta. El Salvador and Guatemala will also be severely affected.
Sadly, this will be a large scale humanitarian disaster between Eta and Iota. Mother Nature is not happy this year.
... Older discussions >>
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
955 AM EST Tue Dec 1 2020
For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:
A gale-force, non-tropical low pressure system is centered between
the Madeira Islands and the Azores. This system has become less
organized during the past 24 hours, and environmental conditions are
expected to become less conducive for development as the system
moves southwestward during the next day or two. Although
subtropical development is now unlikely, this system will continue
to produce strong winds and locally heavy rains in the Madeira
Islands and the Azores through Wednesday. Additional information on
this system can be found in High Seas Forecasts issued by Meteo
This will be the last Special Tropical Weather Outlook issued on
this system. Regularly scheduled Tropical Weather Outlooks will
resume on June 1, 2021, while Special Tropical Weather Outlooks will
be issued as necessary during the off-season.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...10 percent.
High Seas Forecasts issued by Meteo France can be found under WMO
header FQNT50 LFPW.
|More detail in the Tropical Weather Discussion or view the Graphicast Image|
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Latest local updates from the special
hurricane correspondents on the islands:
- Grenada [May 9 12:17]
- St.Thomas [May 8 13:26]
- Trinidad & Tobago [May 4 23:05]
- Nevis [May 3 10:16]
- St.Lucia [Apr 29 14:47]
- St.Vincent & Grenadines [Apr 21 12:34]
- Barbados [Apr 17 9:09]
- St.Maarten/St.Martin [Apr 13 10:37]
- Bonaire [Mar 12 13:40]
- Antigua [Jan 15 14:25]
- Anguilla [Dec 31 12:24]
- St.Croix [Nov 30 22:44]
- Curaçao [Nov 18 17:30]
- Dominica [Nov 16 11:01]
- Martinique [Nov 14 11:21]
- Jamaica [Nov 8 21:36]
- Cayman Islands [Nov 7 15:12]
- Belize [Nov 4 15:31]
- Bermuda [Oct 24 9:02]
- Mexico (incl. Cozumel & Cancun) [Oct 8 12:04]
- Haiti [Oct 5 11:48]
- Montserrat [Sep 15 19:40]
- Florida Keys [Sep 12 17:51]
- Vieques (PR) [Aug 26 13:42]
- Turks & Caicos [Aug 23 18:28]
- Dominican Republic [Aug 23 12:45]
- Puerto Rico [Aug 22 15:42]
- St.John [Aug 22 14:46]
- Bahamas [Aug 3 19:26]
Only reports received for this season are listed. See the archive for previous years.
Links to excellent websites:
- Navy/NRL Monterey
- NOAA/NESDIS (floater loops)
- RAMSDIS Imagery
- Radar Composite - E-Carib.
- Caribbean/Atl. buoy data
- RT model guidance (RAL/NCAR)
- STORM2K forum
- Tracking Waves (McNoldy)
- Tang/UAlbany (model tracks)
- weathernerds.org (ensembles)
- ECMWF Model Forecast
- Jeff Masters Blog
- Brian McNoldy Blog
Storm definitions by wind speed:
- Tropical Depression <39mph
- Tropical Storm 39-73mph
- Cat.1 Hurricane 74-95mph
- Cat.2 Hurricane 96-110mph
- Cat.3 Hurricane 111-129mph
- Cat.4 Hurricane 130-156mph
- Cat.5 Hurricane >=157mph
More info in the Practical Guide
Wind force relative to Category 1:
- Tropical Storm 39mph: 0.28x
- Cat.1 Hurricane 74mph: 1x
- Cat.2 Hurricane 96mph: 1.7x
- Cat.3 Hurricane 111mph: 2.3x
- Cat.4 Hurricane 130mph: 3.1x
- Cat.5 Hurricane 157mph: 4.5x
- Irma 185mph: 6.3x