ENC braces for active season in the tropics

Published: Jun. 3, 2020 at 9:53 PM EDT
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With the third named tropical system of the year it is expected to be an active season in the tropics and experts are talking about what that means for us here in the east.

WITN Chief Meteorologist Matt Engelbrecht says the first named system isn't usually until more than a month from now. The third one is not until almost two-and-a-half months from now. We've seen three in the span of just 16 days since Arthur back on the 16th. What does that mean for us? One of the impacts, according to Dr. Rick Luettich from the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, is increased strength in the storms themselves.

Dr. Luettich says the energy for systems and hurricanes comes from heat content in the water. With warmer surface sea level temperatures, there's evidence of not just earlier storms, but strong ones. He also says that with these storms that means more flooding, and greater storm surge. "In ENC the coast is so flat, it doesn't take too much sea level rise to bring the water across the bulkhead or just simply up onto land from distances at distances from the normal ocean that we aren't used to seeing in the past."

The previous record for three named systems this early in the season was June 5th back in 2016.