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Tropical Storm Arthur and Tropical Storm Bertha have already wreaked havoc across the Atlantic, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to North America. Now regarded as a tropical depression – previous Tropical Storm Bertha made landfall northeast of Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Bertha is continuing to track further inland across North Carolina and Virginia, bringing maximum sustained winds of 50mph and torrential rain.
Less than two weeks ago, Tropical Storm Arthur passed close to eastern North Carolina, bringing downpours and dangerous storm swells to the area.
These two systems meant 2020 was the sixth straight hurricane season to start early – before the official start date of June 1.
This is prompted meteorologists to question whether hurricane season should start in May rather than June.
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Only five other Atlantic seasons on record have produced two named storms before June 1, and all but one of these was more active than average.
This may mean the Atlantic is set for a very active hurricane season this year.
The most recent season to follow this pattern was 2016, with a very early January Hurricane Alex in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
This was followed by a late May Tropical Storm Bonnie off the Southeast coast.
Elsewhere, a new area of low pressure has been spotted in the Eastern Pacific.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) this trough of low pressure is producing a large area of disorganised showers and thunderstorms.
It is currently located a few hundred miles south of the coasts of Central America and southern Mexico.
Environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual development of this system, and a tropical depression is likely to form this weekend while it drifts northward.
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The NHC states there is currently a 30 percent chance of cyclone development within 48 hours, and formation chance within five days is high at 80 percent.
The NHC wrote: “Tropical cyclogenesis is possible in association with Central American Gyres.
“There is currently a low chance of tropical cyclone formation within the gyre over the next couple of days, and a high chance of tropical cyclone formation within the next five days.”
Cyclogenesis is the development or strengthening of an area of low pressure in the atmosphere, resulting in the formation of a cyclone.
However, regardless of development, this system is expected to produce heavy rainfall over portions of Central America and southern Mexico beginning late this week and continuing through the weekend.
These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially in areas of mountainous terrain.
Those in the areas affected are advised to check local weather reports for information.
Pacific hurricane season officially began on May 15 and will run through to November 30.
The first named storm of the Pacific hurricane season has not yet occurred, and when it does will be named Amanda.
In 2019, the first named storm was Alvin which began to form on June 12 – this later developed into a hurricane reaching a category one hurricane with 75mph winds.
Last year’s Pacific hurricane season saw the formation of 19 named storms and seven total hurricanes – this less active and destructive than previous years.
Of these hurricanes, four were major – and the strongest was Hurricane Barbara, which reached category four status with maximum sustained winds of 155mph at its peak.
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