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Yep… It’s January and there is a Hurricane

As a follow up to the climate summit in Paris this past December we will post articles discussing unusual weather and wildlife events and how climate change may (or may not) being impacting these.

The intensity and forecast for Hurricane Alex '16. Graphic: NOAA

The intensity and forecast for Hurricane Alex ’16.
Graphic: NOAA

Last week we posted an article describing the El Nino. Much of the strange weather we have had recently has been attributed to this.  It rained throughout Christmas break, we were having a red tide in December, and it was 70°F in the northeast for the holidays… not normal… but these are the sorts of events that do occur during El Nino years.  The link to climate change is that this is the strongest El Nino on record.  Many climate scientists are saying that with increasing global temperature the number of El Nino events will not increase but their severity will… this year is an example of how they may be right.  This is the strongest El Nino on record.  You can read more about El Nino on this website – http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2016/01/09/what-is-an-el-nino/

 

And now there is a hurricane… Hurricane Alex

 

We all know that hurricane season is from June through November, when the sea surface temperatures are high enough to sustain a tropical storm. But this is January in the northern hemisphere.  The climate scientists from Weather Underground noted that this has happened 3 times since 1938.  There was an un-named storm in 1938, followed by Hurricane Alice – which formed in December of 1954 and remained intact until January 1955, and then there was Tropical Storm Zeta –  which formed in December 2005 and remained intact until January 2006 – this was during the “hurricane years” Florida was experiencing – the “Z” name says it all for that year!

 

In each case the storms did not last long. Weather Underground is reporting sea surface temperatures in the location of Alex between 68-72°F.  This is 1°C higher than this part of the ocean was last year but still a bit cool for hurricanes.  The Azores Islands typically deal with storms every 10-20 years… well this is a year – it is heading in their direction.

 

NOAA has the storm forecasted to move towards Greenland. It is currently rotating at 70 mph and moving north at 28 mph.  It is currently a Category 1 storm but they expect to be downgraded to a tropical storm by tomorrow.  This storm will probably not last long but it is another weather phenomenon that has made 2015-2016 an usual one.  Let’s see what will happen next week.

Permanent link to this article: https://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2016/01/15/yep-its-january-and-there-is-a-hurricane/