Louisiana Hurricane Anxiety Increases as Season Forecast Revised
The state of Louisiana is quite familiar with landfalling tropical cyclones. In the year 2020 we had five named systems make landfall along our coastline. And when you consider that Louisiana doesn't have the longest coastline on the Gulf you wouldn't be wrong in your thinking that maybe Mother Nature was just being mean to us.
Louisiana followed up the storm year of Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta with another monster storm in the year 2021. That was Hurricane Ida that did most of its damage in the southeastern part of the state. Which was a "blessing" because the southwestern part of the state was still reeling in 2021 from the destructive double punch of storms that happened in 2020.
Here lately tropical anxiety along the bayou has been bubbling below the radar. There haven't been any real tropical threats to speak of during the first month of Hurricane Season 2023 and the next week or so is looking to be fairly quiet. There is also a nice plume of dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa that is moving across the Atlantic Ocean toward the Gulf of Mexico. The dust also inhibits tropical development.
So, with El Nino and Saharan Dust, why would forecasters with Colorado State University suddenly change their hurricane forecast from "slightly below average" to "above average"? It has to do with sea surface temperatures.
Hurricanes need warm ocean water to fuel their growth and right now planet Earth has an abundance of warm ocean water. And it's not just that the ocean waters are warm, those temperatures are some of the highest ever recorded.
What appears to be shaping up is a rather raucous second half of the hurricane season. The Colorado State forecast jumped from 13 named storms in April to 18 named storms in July. Now, there does seem to be some disagreement between those who create and publish tropical season forecasts. Many other forecast outlets have not revised their pre-season numbers but that still could happen.
The bottom line is we need to be prepared and history has shown it's a lot easier to prepare when there is no storm in the Gulf than when there is a storm just days away. Double-check your pre-season preps and make sure you don't need to adjust, add, or replace any of the items that could make a big difference for yourself and your family.
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