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  • Writer's pictureBryan Norcross

It’s likely that Hurricane Season 2021 is over… again

The slight possibility that the non-tropical system that tried to organize off the Carolina coast would evolve into a tropical-type weather system has diminished. So our named-storm count for 2021 remains at 21. There are no signs that any other systems will develop in the foreseeable future.

The nor’easter-type low pressure system brought heavy rain, wind, and coastal flooding to the Carolinas over the weekend. As it moved offshore, it teamed with another wintertime-type low to the north to create a strong, energetic flow in the ocean along the U.S. East Coast. The trajectory of that flow pushed water against the east coast of Florida, which raised the already-high tides.

This map from Brian McNoldy at the University of Miami shows the high waves generated by the storm between the U.S. and Bermuda, and how the trajectory of the energy forced a tongue of higher water all the way down to Miami-Dade and Broward County.

The push of water from the storm near Bermuda made the tides in Dade and Broward more than a foot higher than normal, according to McNoldy’s calculation. Coincidentally, this happened at the same time as the highest King Tide of this cycle.

King Tides occur due to the alignment of the sun and the moon, especially when the moon is closest to the earth, as it is this week. In addition, the water levels are higher in the fall when the ocean is warmer since warm water expands.

Thankfully, we are past the peak of all of this. But if your neighborhood or building flooded in this event, it’s guaranteed to happen again if no action is taken.

As always, we can’t rule out another non-tropical storm getting stranded over the warm-enough ocean to become somewhat tropical. In addition, the weather pattern over the western Caribbean is forecast to be generally conducive for development, although the long-range computer forecasts keep the focus on the Pacific side of Central America, to the extent they show something forming.

For now, we can continue with the idea that the Atlantic hurricane season is over.


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