Tropical Update 9/13/2020

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We’ve reached the peak of tropical storm season in the Atlantic! We currently have 2 named storms in the Atlantic- Paulette and Rene. We also have Tropical Storm Sally making it’s way into the Gulf of Mexico. Along with those 3 storms we have Tropical Depression 20, which could become Tropical Storm Teddy by midweek. We have a couple more areas of interest that will bear monitoring as we get into the rest of this week. First let’s take a look at the current storms and if they pose any threat to the CSRA.

Paulette & Rene

Paulette has strengthened into a hurricane out in the middle of the Atlantic. Rene however has lost some intensity and has downgraded to a tropical depression. Over the next few days, Paulette will keep heading east until a cold front passes by dragging it off to the northeast before it reaches any of the mainland in the US. Paulette could become as strong as a category two hurricane, but at this point it just looks like a fish storm. Rene might be losing strength but it’s path is still in an area where it could regain form. Rene is most likely going to be swept away by the approaching front too.

Tropical Depression 20

TD 20 is in a very good area of intensification in the Atlantic but still seems a ways out there. Multiple model runs indicate that TD 20 could become Tropical Storm Teddy by midweek, and then could strengthen into a hurricane by the end of the week. But the same front that will sweep Paulette and Rene away will most likely grab future Teddy and take it off to the northeast without impacting the US too.

Tropical Storm Sally

Sally is slowly moving off to the NW towards the Gulf of Mexico with winds speeds up to 80mph. Slight intensification with this storm as it approaches the Gulf Coast as the waters there are very conducive for intensification. Wind shear, or the changing of the direction of winds will be minimal so that should help keep Sally’s structure. While the Gulf waters are hot, there isn’t a lot of room for Sally to grow exponentially over the next day before it starts interacting with land. This storm looks to be headed towards eastern Louisiana-Mississippi-Alabama-western Florida panhandle coastlines where torrential rain and tropical storm to hurricane force winds will stall out for a few days as that encroaching cold front blocks Sally from continuing north. Once the cold front starts to slide off to the northeast later in the week, it will take Sally with it, which could possibly bring some showers and gusty conditions to the CSRA by the end of the week.

While the tropics are quite active right now, the only real threat to the US is Sally, where landfall along the Gulf coast seems imminent. Heavy rain and wind will cause quite another headache along the Gulf while Paulette, Rene, and most like Teddy keep deep see fishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Any effects from Sally in the CSRA will be felt sometime towards the end of the week.

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