Expert: Hurricane Season For Houston May Be Over
by: Pat Hernandez and Jack Williams, September 24, 2012 10:09:00 am
So far there have been 14 named storms this season, 8 hurricanes and 6 tropical storms, but none that have threatened the upper Texas Gulf Coast. Chris Hebert is a hurricane expert with Houston-based Impact Weather and says the conditions for the formation of hurricanes that could affect us haven't developed this season.
"Basically the Gulf is shut down now and I don't see much changing as we move into October. It's pretty much the end of the season as far as the northern Gulf coast right now and looking at the rest of the tropics, those unfavorable conditions that just barely let some storms reach tropical storm strength in the deep tropics during the peak of the season, well they're even more unfavorable right now. So the conditions are deteriorating out there in the tropics, meaning it's becoming less and less favorable for development. Strong jet stream down to the Gulf Coast means that for all practical purposes, our season in the northern Gulf Coast is over with."
Hebert says conditions could change, but it's not likely at this point. He says a strong "Bermuda High" has pumped dry air across the development area near Africa and the Eastern Caribbean. That combined with a layer of warm air in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere has made it hard for hurricanes that would affect the upper Gulf Coast to ever get started.
"Thunderstorms grow better when there's cool air aloft. Hurricanes intensify more when there's cool aloft. The warm rising air hits that cool air and explodes, becoming a stronger storm. Well, we had warm air aloft combined with dry air in the atmosphere and that's kept the situations from developing out there in the tropics this year."
Hurricane season officially ends November 30th.