Hurricane tracker: ‘Homegrown’ cyclone brewing near Florida – Will it hit US coast?
Hurricane season doesn’t begin in the US until June 1, but there is a chance an emerging weather system could develop tropical or subtropical characteristics over the course of the weekend. Even if the system doesn’t strengthen or only develops into a subtropical system, it still makes up a huge shift in the atmosphere over the eastern US, which could bring a spell of bad stormy weather.
Meteorologists in the United States have been alarmed by the development, which could see a cyclone hit eastern areas like Florida in the coming days.
According to AccuWeather, one of America’s leading meteorological agencies explained the phenonenon.
Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said: “The jet stream, which will flip from a strong southward dip more typical of January to a significant northward bulge, a phenomenon more common during the mid to late summer.
He said it could evolve into a tropical cyclone somewhere near the Bahamas over the weekend.
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A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce extreme rainfall.
Mr Sosnowski added: “The center of this tropical or semi-tropical feature, and most of the rain, is expected to stay east of the US mainland.
“But there will be some impacts from it reaching the beaches of the U.S. and perhaps more significant impact to the islands offshore.
“Showers and thunderstorms may occur over part of South Florida late this week.”
If it progresses, it could result in the first named tropical feature before the Atlantic hurricane season has even begun.
The first tropical system of the 2020 season will be named Arthur.
Another AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno explained why these systems are called “homegrown”.
He said: “As long as this system sits out in the water and it can sit there and develop, it could become a subtropical system and in time a tropical entity.
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“This is how you get early season development.
“We call it homegrown, because systems develop close to the United States, and it’s the interaction between the jet stream and the tropics that can form them.
“It appears this system, should it form, will likely be lopsided with a considerable amount of dry air on its westward side, closest to the U.S., and showers and thunderstorms on its eastern side, over the Bahamas.”
Even though the official Atlantic hurricane season spans June 1 to Nov 30, tropical systems have been observed in every month of the year over the Atlantic, and May is no stranger to the formation of tropical systems, especially in recent years.
In every year since 2012, except for 2014, there has been at least one named tropical system earlier than anticipated in May.
In 2019, subtropical Storm Andrea formed on May 20, just east of the Bahamas before luckily dissipating the next day.
Cyclone or no cyclone, the pattern will produce much warmer weather and rainfall across southern coastal areas of the USA.
Potential beach-goers have also been warned not to go surfing, which is popular in places like Florida, as the system could produce unusually strong currents.
American forecasters are now predicting 14 to 20 tropical storms to take place this season, with additions also to the number of storms that become hurricanes being somewhere between seven to 11 this season.
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