High Water Temperatures in the Gulf Could Mean More Storms
With all of the well-deserved attention the COVID-19 threat has gotten over the past few weeks it might be difficult to even start putting your thoughts together about the upcoming spring and summer storm season. Just how bad and how busy the season will get remains to be seen but weather experts have noticed an ominous clue that could be quite telling in just how bumpy the warm weather months will be.
Recent checks of water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico have suggested that temperatures are running about three degrees above normal. While that might not sound like much to you and me. To forecasters, those increased temperatures could not only fuel hurricanes later this summer but actually play a part in an increased tornado threat across the Gulf South as well.
The last time waters were reported to be similarly warm was in 2017. I will give you a minute to think about what happened weatherwise in 2017. If you came up with Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 storm, that caused all kinds of problems in Texas then you'll have an understanding of what the region could be facing later this year.
The abundance of warm moist air from the Gulf could also fuel more tornadic thunderstorms not only across the South but across much of the eastern United States. Forecasters also believe the warmer sea surface temperatures, which were only really noted in the Gulf, will create more opportunities for severe thunderstorms too.
One noted hurricane expert has already released his preseason thoughts on the 2020 Hurricane Season. Another well respected preseason forecast is expected to be released today when Colorado State's Tropical Meteorology Project unveils their early outlook for this year's tropical season.