There’s a unique set of circumstances brewing in the tropics.
A tropical system making its way west off the coast of South America has the potential to be named Hermine. And its forecasted path could bring it into the Gulf of Mexico, much like the storm that walloped Tallahassee and the Big Bend in 2016.
Naming of storms is on a six-year cycle and Ryan Truchelut, chief meteorologist with WeatherTiger, said he hasn't been able to find any instances where consecutively named storms have similar impact zones.
“It would be unusual for a storm with the same name to threaten the same area,” he said.
Odds are up to 90% for tropical cyclone formation over the eastern and central Caribbean thru this weekend. May need to monitor once it is in the western Caribbean late weekend or early next week. For now, ensure you are hurricane-ready. https://t.co/2v0oqgE7D7 #FLwx #GAwx #ALwx pic.twitter.com/zT9lWzKa1s
— NWS Tallahassee (@NWSTallahassee) September 21, 2022
Looking back to 2016 Hurricane Hermine
He cautioned, however, that there are still a number of factors and tropical system formations that could change that.
“If this system takes longer to develop and a different one develops more quickly there's a possibility it’s named Ian,” he said. “There’s a lot of steps before a Hurricane Hermine gets into the Gulf. It’s very early.”
In some respects it's a race with a system off the coast of Africa, which has a 60 percent of developing in the next 48 hours.
The National Hurricane Center forecasts are predicting 98L – the loose formation that is moving through the trough between the Southern Caribbean and South America –has a 70% chance of developing in the next two days and a 90% chance to organize into a tropical system within the next five days.
By the numbers: Hurricane Hermine of 2016
Truchelut said the area the system is developing in is favorable for a U.S. landfall, but it does not yet have a center of circulation and the location of its development in the Caribbean will shape its path as it interacts with steering winds moving across North America.
Tallahassee has already seen three storms by the same name in the last 30 years. Although all three were tropical storms, systems named Alberto passed through the region in 1994, 2006 and 2018.
Storms that have significant impact can be removed from the rotating list of names by requests submitted to the World Meteorological Organization from each country where it passed. No such request was made by U.S. officials for Hermine.
Hermine made landfall in St. Marks on Sept. 1, 2016 as a Category 1 storm before barreling north into Tallahassee. The storm, the first direct hit since Hurricane Kate in 1985, left about 100,000 people without power, 90% of the city’s traffic signals inoperable, and more than 35,000 tons of debris scattered around the area.
In all, it caused $550 million in damage, mostly in Florida’s capital city.
Truchelut said over the next week, the system developing now was one to keep an eye on from Louisiana to Florida.
“The key takeaway is that, whatever the name of this storm winds up being, we shouldn’t be too invested on what it's called,” he said. “It is certainly something to watch for our area as well as the entire Gulf Coast.”
Remembering Hurricane Hermine
Portraits in Powerlessness
After Hermine: Portraits in powerlessness
The last stand: Power trickling in
Contact Karl Etters at email@example.com or @KarlEtters on Twitter.
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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Florida hurricane predictions: Will another Hermine get into the Gulf?