Bertha, the Atlantic hurricane season’s 2nd named storm (remember Arther, the 1st one?) could provide some hints about what’s to come this season. Bertha recently formed way out in the Eastern Atlantic (near Africa), somewhat of an oddity for this early in the season. Sea surface temperatures are still relatively cool out there, but moisture coming off of Africa in the form of thunderstorms gathered enough circulation to morph into a tropical system. Atlantic sea temperatures should warm up as usual into late summer, and if we continue to see moist waves coming off the west coast of Africa, it could be a harbinger of things to come later on (i.e. high storm frequency from the Eastern Atlantic).
Additionally, most of our early-season storms typically develop over the Gulf of Mexico, but water temps over the southern Gulf remain slightly below normal. If that trend doesn’t reverse, it very well could end up being a fairly quiet season for coastal areas surrounding the Gulf of Mexico.
Conversely, Atlantic coastal areas ( Bahamas and Southeast U.S.) could see more storms approaching from the Atlantic. As time goes on, we’ll see if Bertha’s hints have any substance.
Posted by NBC12 Meteorologist Jim Duncan