Wilfred, the Last Storm Name on the List, Likely to Form in Gulf

September 17, 2020 Updated: September 17, 2020

There really is no rest for the weary.

Nearly the entire east coast from Brownsville, Texas, to Portland, Maine, have experienced tropical storm-force winds this hurricane season. And only small portions of Florida, Georgia, and Maine’s coastline have escaped winds of that intensity this year.

Now, another storm is forming and the hardest-hit areas along the Gulf Coast need to keep an eye on it.

Wilfred, the last name on this season’s list, has about a 90 percent chance of forming in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

“A tropical depression or a tropical storm could form later today,” the NHC said in their 8 a.m. update.

Computer forecast models are all over the place on where this will go once it forms. Some take it west into Mexico, some bring it into Texas, and others anywhere from Louisiana to Alabama.

“The hurricane models all have a difficult time with disorganized systems,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. “Once the hurricane hunter airplane finds a true center and pressure, then the models will have a forecast we can trust.”

So, by Friday, there should be a better sense of where this system will move. Either way—everyone along the western Gulf Coast will need to keep an eye on it going into next week.

Hurricane Teddy Could Strike Bermuda, Canada

Hurricane Teddy
Hurricane Teddy could strike Bermuda, then Canada. (Courtesy of CNN Weather)

Teddy seems to be harmless, spinning out in the middle of the Atlantic. But it could make a run at Bermuda, which was just directly hit by Hurricane Paulette earlier this week.

The storm is the fourth this year to rapidly intensify in the Atlantic, and is now the second major hurricane of the year. It has wind speeds of 120 mph with stronger gusts, as of the 11 a.m. update from the NHC.

If it makes landfall in Bermuda, it would only be the second time in history this has happened twice in the same year.

In 2014, Gonzalo struck Bermuda less than a week after Hurricane Fay struck the island.

As of 11 a.m. on Thursday, the NHC has Bermuda within the forecast cone, meaning it is plausible it could happen.

The good news is the forecast computer models have backed off a little bit and show Teddy moving north of the island.

But they do show Teddy reaching North America and impacting eastern Canada next week. Possibly even Maine.

Thankfully, Vicky looks like it will be no harm to land. It is expected to weaken further today and dissipate in the next couple of days.

Storm After Storm

“The 2020 season has been remarkable. Every tropical wave or disturbance seems to be developing into a named storm,” CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward says. “This stretch of hyperactivity is extremely rare.”

Typically, you will see tropical waves coming off Africa and only a few would form. But this year, it seems conditions have been just right. This is why, the past week, we have consistently seen anywhere from three to five systems at one time across the Atlantic.

It is also why we are at the end of the 2020 hurricane season name list and will have to move to naming storms by the Greek alphabet after Wilfred. This has only happened once before, in 2005.

Wilfred, once named, will become the earliest named “21st” storm ever in the Atlantic.

The 21st named storm has never occurred in the month of September. The earliest was Vince in 2005, which occurred on Oct. 8.

With more possible storms forming across the Atlantic, it is likely to see Alpha by the end of the week and, if not, next week. Making this indeed a historic hurricane season that still has over two months left.

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