Florida and Carolinas may see its first hurricane of the season – before hurricane season starts

From NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Tropical disturbance in the North Atlantic likely to develop


Tropical Depression 90L was captured by the near infrared camera on the AIRS instrument on May 6, 2015. Credits: NASA JPL, Ed Olson

Although the non-tropical low pressure system in the North Atlantic has moved little during the past several hours it has become better defined with increasing organization of the associated thunderstorm activity. The low is located 230 miles south-southeast of North/South Carolina border.

Conditions are gradually becoming more conducive to its development to a subtropical cyclone within the next 24 to 48 hours. A reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to fly over the storm and further in investigate it. 90L is expected to drift northward over the next few days. With the low out in the Atlantic, heavy rains are expected over the coast southeastern portion of the United States over the next several days. The chance of 90L forming into a Tropical Storm in the next 48 hours is 70 percent at present according to the National Hurricane Center.


Hurricane season starts June 1st. So far, we are in an unprecedented (in the modern record) strong hurricane drought:

Experts: Hurricane activity at 45 year low, USA major hurricane drought almost a decade

65 thoughts on “Florida and Carolinas may see its first hurricane of the season – before hurricane season starts

    • Sometimes I have trouble understanding why nature were ‘she’ and not ‘it’, but then again, in my language, women* are generally referred as it.
      *) men also.

  1. This is not going to hit to hit Florida its heading to the Carolinas. It was on Weatherbell on April 27 because of the pattern and very warm water. Our tropical site has been open since last week for our hurricane clients The next place to watch in about 10 days will be the western/central gulf

    • Joe, I’ve been a follower and admirer of your forecasts for years now. You hit a home run on your forecasts for the last 2 winters.
      With the cold Atlantic I expect the hurricane drought will continue into this season. Though like you said on Weatherbell, most of this season tropical development, what little we get, will be close to shore.
      You’re usually more right than wrong, which in weather forecasting is a tremendous accomplishment and testament to your meteorological skills!

      • What is the difference between a meteorologist and a climate scientist? A meteorologist is only paid when his forecasts are right; a climate scientist is only paid when his forecast are alarmist.

      • Usually more right than wrong.
        Well, that beats the Met Office here in the (still) United Kingdom, certainly up until recently.

  2. Standby for the mega-catastra-frugoff- hurricane from hell propaganda from the usual culprits. We’re all doomed I tell you, doomed !

    • Don’t forget, Private Frazer often tempered his catastrophic predictions with “I could be mistaken though!” 😉

  3. First hurricane? I doubt it. It has a good chance of being the Atlantic Basin’s first named storm of the year, but I don’t hear anyone mentioning it becoming a hurricane. Who is doing the headline writing?

    • You are likely right, but keep an eye on it. In 1951 Hurricane Able, which also began as sub-tropical, sucked enough heat from the Gulf Stream to reach cat three, with winds of 115 mph just off Cape Hatteras, and that was on May 22. Pre-season hurricanes are possible.

      • This is no Able, Able started north of Bermuda and was driven west, then turned south. The pressure never fell to true cat 3 levels, but a much stronger surface high, and the fact it was 2 weeks later helped out. On my power and impact scale, it never was a major ( uses pressure as a metric too) But still impressive. The Original title did not mention the Carolinas, where we have been telling clients since last week ( like Sandy, if need be I can show you what we told our clients and when) this was most likely to affect. It will be a heck of a weekend, and isle of wild in a sea of a serene spring.. severe weather oubreak, TC, Snow in rockies. I cant wait for the alarmists to start with their shrill cry, made louder by the silence of the spring so far
        BTW this storm is right in the wheelhouse of our forecast idea, which was first issued in March, Updated April 12 and can be read here
        you will notice our big concern this year, in spite of a low number, is in close development

      • Joe,
        Thanks for the extra information about Able-in-1951, (as opposed to Able-in-1950 or Able-in-1952. The first hurricane was always called “Able”, for a while).
        In dealing with the hoopla of Alarmists, it always is a good thing to study history. They are prone to use the word “unprecedented”, and I find it is effective to be able to casually drop information such as, “What about Hurricane Able in 1951?” You don’t have to come right out and tell the Alarmist, “You haven’t done your homework”, but that fact becomes blatant.
        I know you do your homework, Joe. To be perfectly honest, I think I first heard that Able-in-1951 formed so very early in the season from you, while reading your post, a week ago on the Weatherbelle site.

        • Ana looks like it will come ashore around Myrtle Beach tomorrow, and likely swiftly weaken. Whats left of it might give Hatteras some decent thunderstorms on Monday, but by the time you are pulling in on Tuesday the remnants likely will be sliding away out to sea.

  4. Joe, I’ve been a follower and admirer of your forecasts for years now. You hit a home run on your forecasts for the last 2 winters.
    With the cold Atlantic I expect the hurricane drought will continue into this season. Though like you said on Weatherbell most tropical development what little we get will be close to shore.
    You’re usually more right than wrong, which in weather forecasting is a tremendous accomplishment and testament to your meteorological skills.

    • Strange, on CBC this morning they were insisting that hurricanes have become more intense. Also mentioned that hurricanes have moved northward.

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought a hurricane has to at least develop as a tropical Storm in the tropics to qualify as a hurricane. It can’t formal that far north.

    • I believe that “hurricane” refers to the cyclone’s organization and strength, not the location of its formation (although almost all hurricanes do form in tropical waters). That said, I don’t know if Invest 90L would qualify even if its winds were at hurricane speed.

      • There definitly is some location limits in the defenition of hurricane. A cyclone in the Pacific is not a hurricane; only cyclones in the Atlantic. …

      • Jeff: true enough; I should have made it explicit that I was thinking latitude, not basin.

  6. If it does develop into a hurricane, it will mark the end of the 19-year “Pause” in global warming, which of course such a Pause never did exist anyway. This hurricane will then be named “Mann’s Revenge.”

    • How does that follow? Tropical storms more a lot of heat north where it radiates away. They generally don’t cause global warming.
      Are you thinking of the 10 years or so since the last major hurricane to hit the US? This has essentially no chance to reach Cat 3 before landfall, so we’ll still be in that record run.

  7. It’s not unusual in early and even pre-season to see hybrid systems like this one form in the northern GoM and off the Carolinas. During low activity years (as this year might turn out to be) such subtropical storms are the majority of the activity seen as the deep tropical stuff is suppressed. I just don’t want to see anyone talking about this being unprecedented or blame CO2, the Wonder Molecule ™.

    • Mumbles …. I’ve started calling CO2 the satanic molecule for obvious reasons!

  8. In light of Sandy, what are the chances that the government officials in New Jersey and New York overreact to this and cause more harm than good? Then what are the chances that residences will no longer listen to government warnings about weather events?

    • Very unlikely. Of course, never underestimate the capacity for politicians to get things terribly wrong, but this isn’t a storm anywhere near the size and capacity of Sandy. Nobody’s pressing any panic buttons, so it’d be a stretch for this to get blown out of proportion.

  9. there has been often “early” subtropical storms they often occur in May if conditions allow it, and usually it’s in that location

  10. So the Goddard Space Flight Center is forecasting hurricanes. It’s a part of NASA, so I guess that’s OK. Maybe Joe Bastardi can get a grant to launch some rockets.
    Is science helped or hindered when everyone has fingers in everyone else’s pots?

    • The official forecasts are coming out of NHC/NWS. But NASA has a legion of Public Affairs Officers who have plenty of time on their hands. NOAA has one PAO for its entire research wing. NASA is always ‘eating our lunch” in the press release dept. any time there’s a storm out there. Just think how many times you’ve seen hurricane pictures from the ISS lead the news segments even tho’ there are plenty of weather satellite pics also available.
      My favorite joke is the hypothetical press release, “NASA scientists discover rich mocha flavor in their morning coffee…” 😉

    • Are you certain it wasn’t a Freudian slip? I actually like the idea of “Global Woman.”
      Every now and then, to make things more lively, I mention to my wife that chaos and confusion have been the result of women getting the vote. I point out the very first thing that happened was that alcohol became against the law, which only created outlaws and made gangsters rich. She laughs and makes some points about “Global Men”, but the ace I have up my sleeve is this simple fact:
      Hurricanes have been better behaved since they started naming every other one after men.

  11. They seem to have named it sub-tropical storm Ana. I thought they were only allowed to name tropical storms and hurricanes?

  12. Speaking of hurricanes and typhoons, Typhoon Noul was projected to reach 120 kts at peak. It is currently spinning at 130 kts as it passes offshore of the Phillipines. It is now forecast to reach winds of 140 kts by this evening before dropping back to 120 kts 12 hours later. The Phillipines is going to get drenched.

  13. Nature is a mother. Hence the “she.”
    Isn’t it about time for NOAA to predict another “heavier than normal” hurricane season that will be trumpeted throughout the liberal press as proof of global warming, only to quietly slink away in November when we have yet another season with far fewer storms than normal?

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