CLIMATEWIRE | An intensifying tropical system that became the first named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season dumped nearly 15 inches of rain on parts of South Florida on Saturday, giving the region an early taste of what experts say could be a very active hurricane season.
By yesterday morning the depression had become Tropical Storm Alex. It moved north-northeast into Atlantic Ocean, where it was expected that it would bring heavy rain to Bermuda this morning.
The storm that formed last week in the Gulf of Mexico was less severe than originally thought. Many South Floridians received a foot or more rain. Miami streets were inundated by floodwater, stranding vehicles in water to the wheel wells.
After storm sewers overflowed the area, Miami-Dade County issued a no-swim order.
” This is a life-threatening and dangerous situation. It is not advised to travel in these conditions. It is better to wait. The city of Miami tweeted Saturday, “Turn around, don’t drown.” “There may be live electrical wires, cracks, or other dangerous conditions. Please stay home.” .”
Please stay at home
The storm attracted little attention in Florida over the weekend, when heavy rain and flash flooding crossed from Naples to the lower peninsula early Saturday. The National Weather Service upgraded the system to a tropical storm yesterday as it exited Florida, packing 60-plus-mph winds.
Before entering Gulf, three people were killed in Cuba by a storm. It also damaged homes and cut off electricity to some areas of the island.
While unorganized as it approached Florida’s Gulf Coast, the storm was closely monitored by the National Hurricane Center as the first Atlantic depression of the 2022 season, which runs from June to November.
Historical NOAA data has shown that the most severe Atlantic hurricanes are in August and September. Scientists say that storms are becoming more unpredictable and erratic due to changing climate conditions. Therefore, the chances of an Atlantic hurricane striking in any given year has increased.
Five of the six most destructive hurricanes on record have occurred since 2010, including 2012’s Superstorm Sandy and a trio of megastorms in 2017: Harvey, Maria and Irma, according to federal data. The year 2020 set a record for the largest number of named storms to strike the United States in one year, at 12.
While a precursor to Alex was gaining strength in the Gulf last week, the first Pacific basin storm, Hurricane Agatha, killed 11 people in the Oaxaca state of Mexico and left 20 missing, according to the Associated Press. Agatha was the strongest ever hurricane to hit the coast of Mexico during the eastern Pacific hurricane season.
NOAA meteorologists said last month they expect between 14 and 21 storms to enter the Atlantic basin this year, six to 10 of which will become hurricanes (Greenwire, May 24).
Meanwhile, Colorado State University on Thursday updated its 2022 hurricane forecast, predicting 20 named storms and 10 hurricanes. CSU’s Tropical Meteorology Project predicts that five of these storms will reach major hurricane strength.
Reprinted from E&E News with permission from POLITICO, LLC. Copyright 2022. E&E News provides essential news