On August 9th, deep in the southern Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Franklin reached 85 mph winds before moving toward Mexico. Although the storm produced heavy rainfall over the Mexican state of Veracruz, Franklin’s effects were moderate and not long forgotten.
But following Franklin’s formation two months ago, eight tropical systems have developed and been assigned names by the National Hurricane Center. And in this frenetic time, all those systems have become hurricanes too. That’s nine in a row, which is unprecedented in today’s hurricane season.
According to Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane scientist at Colorado State University, nine consecutive storms have not reached hurricane status since 1893. The record is 10 such storms, which occurred in 1878, 1886. , and 1893. However, those years are unlikely to come. actually recorded 10 hurricanes in a row, because most of the observations were made on land or by boat.
“Obviously the observational system is very different now than it was in the 19th century,” Klotzbach noted, via Twitter. In fact, regular observations of thermal systems by aircraft did not begin until the mid-20th century, and satellite observations of the Atlantic basin were not common until the 1960s or 1970s. a few stray tropicals were lost during the busy times of the 1800s.
Nate is strong
On Friday, Nate closed the gap between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba, allowing its center to be outside. A slight wind shear has been seen in the Gulf of Mexico, and in their 11 a.m. ET update Saturday, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center thus predicted the storm will reach Category 2 hurricane status before landfall on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
As the storm comes ashore in southeastern Louisiana and along the Mississippi coast, the most damaging effects should be near and to the east of the center, where the strongest winds are. A hurricane warning is in effect for portions of the Northern Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama.
Forecasters at the hurricane center have warned of “life-threatening flash flooding” conditions near and well east of the center, and a regional warning is in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Okaloosa/Walton county line in Florida. At its worst, flood waters from Nate could rise 7 to 11 feet above ground level. Forecasters urge residents to heed evacuation warnings.
Winds from Nate should drop quickly once the storm makes landfall in a path through Mississippi and Alabama. One relatively good thing about Nate is that the storm is moving quickly to the north-northwest at 26 mph, as this should limit rain accumulation from the systems. Some areas could see six inches or more of rain, forecasters said, but their main concern is for coastal residents affected by the surge.