Tropical Storm Gaston Forms in the Atlantic

Tropical Storm Gaston Forms in the Atlantic

A weather system in the Atlantic Ocean developed into Tropical Storm Gaston on Tuesday afternoon, becoming the seventh named storm of the 2022 hurricane season.

The storm was about a thousand miles west of the Azores in the North Atlantic and posed no immediate threat to land. As of 5 p.m. Eastern time, Gaston was traveling northeast at about 17 miles per hour and had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.

A storm is given a name after it reaches wind speeds of at least 39 m.p.h.

The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June through November, had a relatively quiet start, with only three named storms before Sept. 1 and none during August, the first time that has happened since 1997. Storm activity picked up in early September with Danielle and Earl, which formed within a day of each other.

Tropical Storm Gaston formed days after Hurricane Fiona battered Puerto Rico with unrelenting rain, causing flash floods and widespread power outages across the island.

In early August, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an updated forecast for the rest of the season, which still called for an above-normal level of tropical storm activity. In it, they predicted the season — which runs through Nov. 30 — could see 14 to 20 named storms, with six to 10 turning into hurricanes that sustain winds of at least 74 miles per hour. Three to five of those could strengthen into what NOAA calls major hurricanes — Category 3 or stronger — with winds of at least 111 m.p.h.

Last year, there were 21 named storms, after a record-breaking 30 named storms in 2020. For the past two years, meteorologists have exhausted the list of names used to identify storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, an occurrence that has happened only one other time, in 2005.

The links between hurricanes and climate change have become clearer with each passing year. Data shows that hurricanes have become stronger worldwide during the past four decades. A warming planet can expect stronger hurricanes over time, and a higher incidence of the most powerful storms — though the overall number of storms could drop, because factors like stronger wind shear could keep weaker storms from forming.

Hurricanes are also becoming wetter because of more water vapor in the warmer atmosphere; scientists have suggested storms like Hurricane Harvey in 2017 produced far more rain than they would have without the human effects on climate. Also, rising sea levels are contributing to higher storm surge — the most destructive element of tropical cyclones.

The post Tropical Storm Gaston Forms in the Atlantic appeared first on New York Times.

Last Update: Tue, 20 Sep 22 17:32:01