You’re seeing the Post and Courier’s weekly and breaking storm newsletter, Hurricane Wire. We walk you through what’s brewing in the Atlantic, what the experts are saying this season, some history from past storms and even provide special maps and data visualizations to help you make sense of it all. Sign up here.
Cold wake. That's the best thing Hurricane Dorian left behind.
A plume of cooler-than-normal ocean water has risen like a vapor along the route that Dorian took up the Southeast. It's deeper water pulled up to the surface by the storm's whirling. That plume could take some of the heat strength out of a tropical cyclone if one follows in Dorian's path.
But with temperatures broiling across the Southeast and in the ocean around that plume, it won't last more than a few weeks.
Tuesday was the height of hurricane season, the day of the year when a hurricane is most likely to form. So are we past the worst? Not quite.
The Tropical Meteorology Project, a research benchmark in the field, predicted 7 hurricanes would emerge in the Atlantic this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration called for 4 to 8.
So far this year there have been two, Barry and Dorian.
13 hurricanes formed after Sept. 10 in 1995, the largest number on record, according to Phil Klotzbach, lead scientist of the project.
Forecasters are now eyeing a monsoon storm that blew off the west African coast on Monday. Hurricane Hugo, the catastrophic Category 4 storm that is a signature of the threat of these systems to the region, blew off that coast 30 years ago — on the same date, Sept. 9.
Meanwhile, a storm in the Bahamas on Thursday was expected to turn into at least a weak tropical storm. Forecasters call for it to move across Florida into the Gulf of Mexico.
Conditions: Air currents over the Atlantic favor storms strengthening into hurricanes — and suggest another one could threaten the East Coast like Dorian did, said meteorologist Jared Smith with Charleston Weather.
Computer models: They're having a little trouble so far trying to forecast the track of the Bahamas storm or the monsoon storm. Various runs suggest either could head anywhere from back out to sea or toward Texas.
Outlook: It's too soon to say about either storm, really. With the Bahamas storm, most of the Southeast can expect some rain at the least. But that monsoon storm? One of two leading computer models suggests it will arrive near Puerto Rico almost to the day Hugo did, Sept. 19. The other leading model suggests it's heading into the open Atlantic.
What we're talking about
- Why didn't we see the four to seven feet of water that scientists predicted could come with Hurricane Dorian? The reasons are complicated, but forecasters say the prediction was in line with the data.
- Meanwhile, Dorian's surge did prove devastating to sea turtle nests in protected areas of the coast.
- After Hurricane Dorian missed Charleston, Holy City residents are looking to help in the Bahamas.
- Speaking of the Bahamas, the devastation that happened there while the cyclone parked itself over the islands matched a global trend in stalling storms.
- Finally, in a break from storm coverage, the NYT has highlighted an interesting approach to flooding in Canada: forcing homeowners to leave their damaged homes.
How close was Dorian's path to the projected models?
Most of the time, the storm's actual track (in black) was within the forecast cone. The periods of greatest uncertainty occurred as the storm passed by Puerto Rico and again as it passed over the Bahamas.
Read more about how the forecast models work and which ones are the best to monitor.
Hurricanes in history
A wrecker lies buried in the sand on what used to be North Carolina Highway 12 near Buxton, N.C. on Sept. 1, 1999. Miles of highway along the Outer Banks were left impassable by Hurricane Dennis. In 2005, the name Dennis would be used again. File/AP
Your questions, answered
Have a question about how hurricanes work, how we cover them or any other storm-related inquiry? Reply to this email and we may feature your question in an upcoming newsletter!