ATLANTIC BASIN HEATS UP …
How come? Well, as we explained last month it’s due to El Niño – the periodic warming of the central and eastern equatorial regions of the Pacific Ocean. This year’s El Niño is one of the strongest on record, which means a more “robust” subtropical jet stream.
According to people with meteorological degrees, that produces elevated wind shear – which makes it harder for hurricanes to develop in the Atlantic.
Thus the 2015 forecast of only seven named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane.
Vying to become the first named hurricane to make landfall this season is Erika – a tropical system that’s headed toward the Caribbean as we speak. According to the latest advisory, Erika is located 335 miles east of Antigua – moving west at 17 miles per hour.
The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour – but is projected to strengthen over the coming week. In fact the latest five day forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows Erika headed straight toward Miami, Florida – as a category one hurricane.
Take a look …
(Click to enlarge)
As the Palmetto State remains in the realm of possibility for this system, we’ll continue to keep an eye on its progress. So stay tuned …
South Carolina has seen 23 direct hurricane landfalls since 1893 – the most infamous being Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Fortunately the state has avoided any direct hits from major storms since then, although there have been several close calls – including Hurricane Irene in 2011.