It has already been a very active hurricane season in the Atlantic.
Marco became the earliest M storm on record while it didn’t cause much damage as it came ashore in Louisiana it did bring flooding issues to the Florida panhandle in and around Panama City Beach. While Marco is quickly becoming a thing of the past the next storm is entering the Gulf which is now Hurricane Laura. It is possible that Laura could become a major hurricane before making landfall along the Louisiana – Texas coast. What does that mean for us here in West Virginia? Lets break it down everything starting with the difference between a Hurricane and Tropical Storm.
A Tropical Storm is a tropical cyclone with sustained surface winds ranging from 39-73 MPH. While a Hurricane is a tropical cyclone with sustained surface winds of 74 MPH or greater. The number of storms increase in August and peak in the month of September, by early November the numbers start to decrease. Now that I have broke down the difference in the two lets talk about Hurricane categories.
Hurricane Laura like I mentioned before is forecast to be a Cat 3 that’s a major hurricane the first one of 2020 to make landfall in the United States when it makes landfall Wednesday this could mean devastating damage along the Louisiana – Texas coast. If you have family or friends in the area please make sure they are pay attention to the forecast tracks and are evacuating if need be.
What does that mean for us and what will the storm look like when it makes it to West Virginia? Well it wont be a Hurricane by the time it makes it here, the friction over land will weaken the storm as it moves ashore. Over the open ocean there isn’t any friction to slow the storm down so by the time it reaches our state it will be much weaker. It will however still have its tropical characteristics which means it will bring us some heavy downpours, we will still have to wait and see how strong the system is once it makes it here to see if we will have a risk of severe weather so make sure to keep checking back as we get closer to the weekend. It wont stick around long, if you look at the map below by Sunday morning its already moved off the east coast and back out to sea. In other words this wont be a prolonged event one day and its gone.