Will Tropical Storm Danielle hold out until September?

We are about to break a long-standing streak: if all remains reasonably calm until Wednesday, we will have had our first august in 25 years without a major storm in the Atlantic Ocean.

The last time the Atlantic had an inactive August was in 1997. Since then, the start of the school year has seen at least one storm strong enough to deserve a name (i.e. one with winds reaching at least 39 mph).

As we look set to snap this 24-year run, meteorologists are watching for two tropical disturbances in the Atlantic that could rain down on the record parade. One forms just off Senegal in West Africa, while the other is organized closer to the Americas, east of the Lesser Antilles.

A tropical disturbance is a weather system that migrates through the tropics and retains its shape for 24 hours or more, giving it the potential to become a more intense storm.

Since this morning, the closer of the two disturbances in the Atlantic has an 80% chance of becoming a tropical storm. The next named storm to form will be dubbed “Danielle”.

Even though we are going through August without major weather events, we are far from out of the figurative woods of this hurricane season.

According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the most active period of the Atlantic hurricane season begins around mid-August and lasts until mid-October.

A NOAA chart using data from Atlantic hurricane seasons from 1944 to 2020 shows that the seasonal peak for the US East Coast comes in early to mid-September.

Click to enlarge

Make no mistake: this graphic may look like a cozy campfire, but its message is much wetter and less fun.

Miami is only two years away from most active hurricane season on record, 2020, and climate scientists have warned of potentially more active seasons in the future, with even stronger storms, due to climate change. With that in mind, it’s probably best to keep an eye on the east for eye training.

And while we don’t have a handy chart to prove it, in our experience, blue skies are the best time to avoid long lines at Home Depot and Walmart.

Miami-Dade County offers a hurricane kit checklist with a list of supplies you should have on hand in case of a major storm, including seven days worth of water and non-perishable food. That of the county hurricane preparedness site also provides maps of storm surge areas and guides on how to safely evacuate if the worst happens.

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