Something like 200 million people are sweltering in the US today. Where I am we have had four short power outages. Every time it happens I think, “Is this the big one?”
It’s not just hot on land. It’s hot in the ocean. In particular, the Gulf of Mexico is getting very hot.
For years I monitored ocean water temperature at buoy #42001. Not any longer. When I checked today I found this. R.I.P. 42001.
I did get some partial data from a nearby buoy #4204. A comparison of water temperatures over the past eight years:
The conditions today have not been seen since 2004. A question to ask it what kind of hurricane season was 04? Bad, is the answer:
The 2004 season had 16 tropical depressions, 15 named storms, nine hurricanes, and six major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale). The Accumulated Cyclone Energy figure of 225 ranks this as the fourth most active season since 1950.
August 2004 was incredibly active, with eight named storms forming during the month despite a weak El Niño emerging during the summer. In an average year, only three or four storms would be named in August. The formation of eight named storms in August breaks the old record of seven for the month, set in the 1933 and 1995 seasons.
Note that a condition that existed in 2004 was a weak El Nino. What do we have today? A weak La Nina. It is predicted that the cycle will complete sometime in July. We will revert to a weak El Nino (we may have already achieved that)
The odds point to big storms in the Gulf over the next 60 days. Here’s hoping we beat the odds, and the heat.