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Never say never, but hurricane season appears to be winding down

A satellite look at the tropics on Nov. 19, 2020.
A satellite look at the tropics on Nov. 19, 2020.

What’s left of Hurricane Iota is a swirl of clouds in the Pacific off the coast of El Salvador and Guatemala, although the heavy-rain and mudslide threat continues over parts of Central America. Caribbean moisture is still streaming across Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

The rain in Central America is not going to let up quickly because the cold front that came through Florida will be in the vicinity as well.

In addition, a Tropical Disturbance in the extreme southern Caribbean Sea will pull additional moisture over Central America and northern Colombia. It’s a broad low-pressure area at this point, and it has a very slight chance of developing into a tropical depression. But mostly it’s another rainmaker in a region that is drowning in water.

The disturbance should slowly move across Central America into the Pacific as a weak system.

All this low-pressure in the Caribbean combined with a strong high-pressure system over the eastern U.S. is creating steady strong winds in between — and that means over Florida. Since all of the systems involved are moving slowly, the strong winds off the ocean will continue through the week.

The National Hurricane Center is noting another possible development area between the Bahamas and Bermuda. A system might develop out of the cold front over the Atlantic combined with an upper-level disturbance. The computer forecast models predict it will develop late in the weekend or early next week — if it forms at all.

It would stay away from the U.S., although Bermuda may be affected. It’s unlikely to amount to much, though it has a slight chance of padding the 2020 stats.

Looking ahead, a wintertime pattern is taking over, meaning the atmospheric environment appears hostile to tropical development. The jet-stream winds have moved to southern latitudes. The long-range computer models show windows of generally supportive upper-level winds over the extreme southern Caribbean, but only fleetingly.

There’s a good chance that this will be it when we wrap up these last two slight possibilities. Though in 2005, the last storm formed in late December and lasted into January. So freak things can happen.


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