Weather blog: Here’s a mid-season hurricane update

A look back on the Hurricane Season so far and what we could expect over the next few months.
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 11:26 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Yesterday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their mid-season update for the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Their findings indicate that even though we’ve seen a slow down in development through the month of July due to ocean factors and the Saharan Dust Layer we are still on track for an above-average season. But let’s refresh on what has happened so far this season.

Our first named storm of the season was Ana back at the end of May. With Ana forming before June 1st (the official start of hurricane season) the 2021 Hurricane Season was the 7th consecutive season to see an early start and the 11th season overall in the past 20 years.

In addition to Ana we’ve seen Bill, Claudette, and Danny strengthen into tropical storms with the only hurricane so far being Elsa. That storm ended up strengthening into a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of about 86 MPH. Both Danny and Elsa had their center move through the CSRA as Tropical Storms bringing a flash flooding potential and even a few tornado warnings. We also had Claudette move just to the north of the CSRA as a Tropical Depression bringing similar impacts.

Historical Tropical Tracks
Historical Tropical Tracks(wrdw)

One of the reasons that we saw a break in July from the tropical activity was the Sarahan Dust Layer. As stronger westerly winds moved dry dusty air off the African Continent it created an environment that was very poor for tropical development.

But as we continue through the season it’s looking very likely that things will be picking up where they left off in early July. NOAA has updated their forecast to 15-21 named storms of which 7-10 could become hurricanes and 3-5 could become major hurricanes. There’s is now an overall 65% chance that this season will be above average, but still not as above average as last season.

Mid-Season Hurricane Update from NOAA.
Mid-Season Hurricane Update from NOAA.(NOAA)

Currently, there are two areas of development in the Atlantic one with a 20% chance of development over the next 5 days and the other a 60% chance of development over the next 5 days. We’ll be keeping an eye on the Atlantic, so keep it here for updates.

Tropical Outlook over the next 5 days.
Tropical Outlook over the next 5 days.(wrdw)

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