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Recently a report was released by the NOAA about its concerns for the Gulf of Mexico and the upcoming hurricane season. From Texas to Florida, the warming waters of the Gulf are likely to produce several dangerous and destructive storms during the 2022 season.
There are currently three tropical storms forming in the Atlantic Ocean expected to threaten the Eastern Seaboard or the Gulf Coast. One, which is named “Bonnie” is forming now and expected to reach hurricane strength in a couple of days.
As it is with all storm conditions, they are unpredictable. No one can tell you how powerful a storm will be with complete confidence. However, what we do know is that hurricanes strengthen as they pass over warm water. This is a concern for climatologists. The last decade revealed that the Atlantic Ocean experienced the warmest temperatures over the last decade in three millennia.
Of greater concern involves changes that do not follow normal trends. Weather events affected by cold and heat are historically cyclical. This has not occurred in the Atlantic Ocean. They have been constant. However, this change is also occurring in oceans and seas around the world.
My wife and I are grateful to live in Northern Nevada. The Reno/Sparks area is considered a high desert. With the Sierra Nevada Mountains rising above the city to the west, we have four distinct seasons. However, unlike the Midwest, and the Northeast, our summers and winters are generally mild.
February of 2022 was the first completely dry on record. Not a single raindrop or snowflake was seen in 28 days. Our water supply depends on snowfall in the Sierras, and we are expecting drought conditions over the next two months.
When the word ‘weather’ comes up in conversation, we naturally think of change. However, we don’t immediately think of drastic changes. Where I live, it is never a surprise during spring when a Tuesday reaches a high of 60 degrees, and on Wednesday we experience 82-degree weather. Over the last decade states prone to catastrophic events farther to our east have been forced to learn how to survive stronger and more destructive storms in the winter, and oppressive heat in their summers.
There have been more and stronger tornadoes in the Midwest. Snowstorms and blizzards have been heavier and last longer in the northeast. The southern cities like Atlanta, Georgia, are experiencing increasing numbers of ice storms in the winter.
Currently, Bonnie is a tropical storm, but conditions are rapidly changing.
“Shower and thunderstorm activity has increased in association with a tropical wave located about 950 miles east-southeast of the southern Windward Islands,” said the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in this morning’s tropical outlook. “Environmental conditions appear conducive for further development, and a tropical depression is likely to form during the next couple of days.”
The most recent information shows Bonnie passing the southwestern coast of Florida and possibly touching the southernmost part of Texas. However, the strongest part of the storm is expected to strike the eastern coastal cities of South America.
The national weather service has issued a warning. This is just the beginning of what could be a very active year in the Atlantic. It is advising anyone who lives in hurricane-prone areas to make early preparations for a busy storm season.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Edited by Sheena Robertson
The New York Post: Third tropical disturbance pops up as Atlantic system shows potential to become Bonnie
CNN: Bonnie could form this week as the hurricane season heats up in the Atlantic
World Economic Forum: New research shows the Atlantic Ocean just had its hottest decade in 3000 years
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Ana Rodríguez Carrington‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Jim Choate‘s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License