Tropical Storm Alberta May Be An Ominous Warning for Caribbean & Gulf Coast
More than a foot of rain drenched Cuba. the entire South was soaked and a tropical storm did the seemingly impossible – it reached the Great Lakes.
And this was only May.
Was Alberto was delivering an early warning message or just getting everyone’s attention?
According to both the National Weather Service and AccuWeather.com, 2018 will be a “normal” year of hurricanes, but one person who has lived and worked in Florida and the Virgin Islands told PubClub.com thinks Alberto
“There has never been a tropical storm in Florida this early in the year and I’m nervous this could be a really bad year,” Eric Stone, a traveling TropRock troubadour who will be on tour in California during the height of the hurricane season in September and October, said as Alberto was crawling up the Sunshine State’s Gulf Coast.
“If the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico take another hit, it would be completely devastating. After last year, they can’t take another one.”
According to AccuWeather, which mirrors that of the NWS,12-15 tropical storms are predicted for 2018, out of which six to eight can become hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes.
“The information we are looking at would suggest a near-normal season,” said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, “but we have to wait to see how the water in the main development region warms.”
“Water temperatures in this region are cooler than normal and cooler than at this time last year,” Kottlowski said. “If the [northeasterly] trade winds stay high, water temperatures will not recover as quickly.”
“If water temperatures do rebound, then the number of tropical storms and hurricanes will be on the upper end of our predicted range and slightly above normal.”
He added, “this season may not [bring] as many impacts [as the devastating 2017 hurricane season], but I’m almost afraid to tell people this because it only takes one big storm to hit you to cause massive damage.”
“We saw that from Harvey, Irma and Maria last year. If all we had was just another Irma or Harvey, that would be more than enough to cause catastrophic damage for any coastal community.”
So the short answer to the question whether or not 2018 will be a devastating hurricane season is “it’s too soon to tell.”
But as Stone warns, keep your eye on the eyes of those hurricanes that do form.
People in the Caribbean and along the Gulf Coast – particularly the Florida Keys and of course New Orleans which is always on hurricane watch (the Hurricane drinks at Pat O’Brien’s notwithstanding) – certainly simply can’t withstand another huge storm season.