Today the coronavirus hit 1 million cases worldwide doubling in just 8 days, just how many million cases will be worldwide by June the first is anybody's guess. Yesterday the Colorado State University issued a worrying report, at least for residents in the Caribbean and the Gulf States.
According to their report, An abnormally warm Gulf of Mexico could intensify the upcoming tornado and hurricane seasons causing devastation to an already crippled population due to the coronavirus.
Water temperatures in and around the Gulf of Mexico are running more than three degrees above average, increasing the prospects for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes this spring and potentially stronger hurricane activity in the summer and fall, see map above.
The report claims eight hurricanes could spin out of the Atlantic with an above-average chance at least one will make landfall in the U.S., Colorado State University said in its initial 2020 storm forecast. If a hurricane hits early enough in the season, or if the Covid-19 virus isn’t overcome for months, it could complicate social-distancing efforts in key coastal areas. The good news: The odds for an early hurricane are small, according to Phil Klotzbach, the study’s lead author. None have hit before June 1, he said, with the worst part of the season running from August to October.
Overall, 16 systems will reach tropical-storm strength or greater during a six-month season starting June 1, the university’s study concluded. That’s higher than the 6 hurricanes and 12 named storms seen on average. Meanwhile, the energy and the agriculture-rich Gulf of Mexico has a 44% chance of a strike, the study found, higher than the 20th century average of 30%. “This is probably not what people want to hear,” Klotzbach said. “At the end of the day hurricane season is coming anyway. They cancelled Wimbledon,” he added, referring to the tennis program. “But they cannot cancel hurricane season.”
Offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico accounts for about 17% of U.S. oil production and 5% of total U.S. dry natural gas production. Over 45% of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity is located along the Gulf coast, as well as 51% of total U.S. natural gas processing plant capacity. “Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they should prepare the same for every season,” Klotzbach said. Typically, the April forecasts are the least solid.
A year ago Colorado State predicted 13 systems would be named, which happens when they reach tropical-storm strength. The season produced 18 storms, including Hurricane Dorian that devastated the northern Bahamas and went on to strike North Carolina in a weakened state. In all, three storms struck the U.S. causing about $13.9 billion across the basin. In addition to warm Atlantic waters, which can provide fuel storms need to grow, there won’t be any larger weather patterns to help blunt the number of storms. Sea surface temperatures across the equatorial Pacific are forecast to remain average or cooler than normal through the heart of hurricane season, cutting down on wind shear that can tear apart budding tropical systems. Colorado State University
Extreme Weather 2020