25 May Tropical Storm Alberto isn’t waiting for the season to start
The 2018 hurricane season begins on Friday, June 1, so you’d think we would have at least a week before we had to worry about keeping an eye on the tropics. Tropical Storm Alberto just couldn’t wait, though. A full week before the beginning of the season, the disturbance that the National Hurricane Center had been monitoring developed into the first tropical storm, meaning that it has sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, of the year. Once that happens, forecasters turn to the list of 21 names that have been prepared for this year’s season. As the first storm of the year, this one was dubbed Alberto.
The storm is in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Tropical Storm Alberto is not expected to strengthen into a hurricane, but forecasters are saying that it could bring heavy rains and flooding to the Florida panhandle and possibly other Gulf Coast states over the Memorial Day weekend.
Tropical Storm Alberto won’t spoil your Memorial Day plans, but it is a good reminder of how unpredictable hurricanes and tropical storms can be – and how important it is to be prepared. With hurricane impact doors and impact replacement windows from Master Builders, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you and your family will always be ready – no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.
Alberto officially became a tropical storm one day after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is part of the Department of Commerce, issued a forecast for the 2018 hurricane season calling for a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season for the upcoming hurricane season.
It’s not the best we could hope for but it’s certainly not the worst, either.
Here are some of the specifics included in NOAA’s forecast:
- There’s a 70-percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher)
- We can expect anywhere from 5 to 9 hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher)
- The forecast calls for 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).
If you want to make comparisons, an average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.
Dr. Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, gives a summary of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season outlook. (NOAA)
There is a chance that a weak El Niño will develop. Even a weak El Nino would be good news for us here in South Florida.
The term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific. As the National Ocean Service explains, “Typical El Niño effects are likely to develop over North America during the upcoming winter season. Those include warmer-than-average temperatures over western and central Canada, and over the western and northern United States. Wetter-than-average conditions are likely over portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida, while drier-than-average conditions can be expected in the Ohio Valley and the Pacific Northwest. The presence of El Niño can significantly influence weather patterns, ocean conditions, and marine fisheries across large portions of the globe for an extended period of time.”
The important thing to understand is that the formation an El Niño – even a weak one – means we’re less likely to have a busy hurricane season. Don’t let your guard down, though. As they say, it only takes a hit from one hurricane to make it a busy season where you live.
Let Alberto be a reminder to you: It’s not too late to get the protection of hurricane windows in Boca Raton, Islamorada, Vero Beach – or any of the South Florid communities served by Master Builders Windows. And don’t forget to install hurricane doors on your garage – it can be one of the biggest vulnerabilities your home faces. Contact Master Builders today to get a free quote on impact windows in Palm Beach County, Martin County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and The Keys.
Even if you and your family are already enjoying the peace of mind and protection offered by hurricane impact windows and doors, it’s still important to be prepared for hurricane season, so be sure your family has a plan.