Assessing the Atlantic Hurricane Season Climate Factors

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As storms develop over the season, certain features and their effects will be highlighted. This page is an archive of the spotlights to date:

Alex | Cape Verde Storms | Hermine


The first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, Alex, followed a track across the Yucatan and into the Western Gulf of Mexico. Its track is compared with two prior early season named storms, Allison in June 2001, and Hurricane Claudette in July 1979, both of which deposited several feet(!) of rain across southern Texas. Click on the image for an animation of the storm path.

Image source: NOAA/AHPS
As Alex made landfall in Mexico on June 30, it produced heavy rains in southern Texas. Moisture from the storm moved northward over the 4th of July weekend, bringing heavy rains to parts of central Texas and the Southern Great Plains. Click on the image for an animation of the precip totals.

Cape Verde Storms

During August and September, the tropical cyclone formation region shifts eastward from the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to the region off the west coast of Africa, south of the Cape Verde Islands. These Cape Verde type hurricanes develop from tropical waves that form over Africa.

2 week satellite animation of storms (60 Mb) (Imagery courtesy of UCAR/Unidata)
After a fairly quiet July and early August, a train of storms started with Danielle forming as a Tropical Depression on August 21 southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Danielle grew to a hurricane on August 23, but was mainly a threat only to shipping interests, passing east of Bermuda. Earl developed into a Tropical Depression on August 26 and moved on a more southerly and westerly track, skirting the Leeward Islands and brushing the East Coast of the United States. Fiona formed on August 30th but was caught up in Earl's wake, causing her to remain weak and forecast to move away from the mainland towards Bermuda after skirting the northern Leeward Islands. Tropical Storm Gaston formed on September 1, but deteriorated to non-tropical status on September 2.

Spotlight - Hermine

On September 7, Tropical Storm Hermine made landfall in Mexico, just south of the Texas border. Although Hermine never became a hurricane, the slow moving storm produced heavy rains across Texas and Oklahoma. Click on the image for an animation of the storm.

Image source: NOAA/AHPS
As Hermine moved through Texas, she produced heavy rains that caused flash flooding in Austin and Dallas. Rainfall amounts in excess of one foot occurred over many portions of South and Central Texas. After dissipating as a named storm on the evening of September 8, the storm continued northeastward toward Oklahoma, dropping more heavy rains and at least 3 tornadoes.