Visible satellite image of Paulette, Rene, and four disturbances NHC is monitoring for development at 11:10 a.m. EDT Thursday, September 10. The five-day odds of development are shown for the four disturbances. (Image credit: NOAA/RAMMB)

NOAA issued the year’s first La Niña advisory in its September 10 monthly discussion of the state of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, or ENSO.

La Niña conditions favor active Atlantic hurricane seasons with higher-than-average U.S. landfalling hurricane activity, particularly along the U.S. East Coast north of Florida. With two named storms and four other threat areas in the Atlantic, today’s very active situation is typical of what one expects during the climatological peak week of a La Niña hurricane season.

Figure 1. Climatological frequency of named storms and hurricanes in Atlantic. September 10 marks the peak of the season. (Image credit: NOAA/National Hurricane Center)

La Niña expected to last through spring 2021

Over the past week, sea surface temperatures in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W) were 0.9 degrees Celsius below average, well below the 0.5 degree below-average threshold for a weak La Niña, and near the 1.0 degree below-average threshold for moderate La Niña conditions. Forecasters at NOAA and at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society favor La Niña conditions continuing through the winter (75% chance), and peaking as a borderline weak/moderate La Niña.

Earth’s most recent La Niña event, from September 2017 through March 2018, was a weak one. That said, the La Niña Atlantic hurricane season of 2017 was an exceptionally brutal one, with three destructive hurricanes that ranked in the top five for most expensive weather-related disasters in world history: Harvey ($128 billion), Maria ($92 billion) and Irma ($51 billion).

Figure 2. Weather disasters in the U.S. costing at least $30 billion since 1980. Three of the top-five events were hurricanes that occurred during the 2017 La Niña year.

The tweet below by Steve Bowen of Aon shows that U.S. landfalling hurricanes have historically been considerably more common during La Niña years:

Paulette a threat to Bermuda

In the central Atlantic, Tropical Storm Paulette, with 50 mph winds at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday, was headed west-northwest at 10 mph toward Bermuda, well within the National Hurricane Center’s five-day cone of uncertainty. Paulette was struggling with very high wind shear of 30 – 40 knots from an upper-level trough of low pressure. That very high wind shear is expected to continue through Saturday morning, which should cause Paulette to weaken. The shear is predicted to relax to a moderate 10 – 20 knots Saturday afternoon through Sunday, and then drop to less than 10 knots by Monday, when Paulette will be nearing Bermuda. The lower shear likely will allow Paulette to re-strengthen, and the majority of the top intensity models predict that Paulette will be a hurricane on Monday, with several predicting it could be a category 2 hurricane.

Steering currents appear well-positioned to turn Paulette more to the northwest and then north early next week, and the storm is not expected to be a landfall threat in the U.S. Fewer than 5% of the 72 ensemble members of the 0Z or 6Z Thursday runs of the European and GFS model ensemble forecasts showed Paulette making landfall along the U.S. East Coast next week; Bermuda currently appears to be the only land area facing a possible Paulette landfall.

Rene not a threat to land

In the eastern Atlantic, Tropical Storm Rene, a strengthening tropical storm with 50 mph winds at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday, was headed west-northwest at 12 mph into the central Atlantic, far from any land areas. With adequately warm waters near 26.5 degrees Celsius (80°F), light to moderate wind shear, and a moist atmosphere, conditions appear favorable for Rene to intensify into a hurricane by Saturday. Rene is expected to turn more to the northwest by Sunday and begin weakening; the storm is unlikely to affect any land areas.

According to, the tropical wave that became Rene produced torrential rains and deadly flooding in West Africa. Six flood deaths occurred in Senegal, with up to eight inches of rain falling in 24 hours on September 5. Three flood deaths occurred in Burkina Faso.

Figure 3. Predicted path of Atlantic tropical cyclones over the next seven days from the 0Z Thursday, September 10, run of the European ensemble model. Most of the model’s 51 ensemble members (colored lines, which show minimum central pressure) predicted Paulette would come very close to Bermuda as a hurricane, then recurve to the northeast. Four other potential areas to watch included two disturbances in the Gulf of Mexico with 5-day formation odds of 20% and 30%, and two tropical waves moving off the coast of Africa with 5-day formation odds of 40% and 90%. The most concerning was a tropical wave that emerged from the coast of Africa on Thursday (5-day formation odds of 90%) and is expected to move westward and potentially threaten the Lesser Antilles Islands in 6 – 8 days. (Image credit:

Two areas of interest near the U.S. worth watching

The weak area of low pressure approaching the North Carolina coast this week, 94L, was moving ashore on Thursday afternoon and is no longer a threat to develop.

NHC was monitoring two other areas of interest near the U.S., both with low chances of development. A large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms centered a few hundred miles northeast of the central Bahamas was forecast to move westward, crossing the Bahamas and Florida on Friday, and moving into the eastern Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. Upper-level winds are expected to become conducive for some development of this system while it moves slowly west-northwestward over the eastern Gulf of Mexico early next week. In an 8 a.m. EDT Thursday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave this system two-day and five-day odds of development of 0% and 30%, respectively.

Another disturbance that developed over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, off the Florida coast, was producing a few disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Some slow development is possible while this system moves westward and then southwestward over the northern and western Gulf of Mexico through early next week. In an 8 a.m. EDT Thursday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave this system two-day and five-day odds of development of 10% and 20%, respectively.

Figure 4. Visible satellite image at 11:10 a.m. EDT Thursday, September 10, of two disturbances NHC is monitoring for development with 20% and 30% five-day odds of development, respectively. (Image credit: NOAA/RAMMB)

The future Sally likely to be a tropical wave that emerged from Africa on Thursday

Top models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis strongly support development of a new tropical wave that emerged from the coast of Africa on Thursday.

This wave is predicted to move mostly westward at low latitude at 15 to 20 mph next week. Given its lower-latitude position compared to Paulette and Rene, this new tropical wave may be a long-range concern for the Caribbean and North America. Over 30% of the 51 ensemble members from the 0Z Thursday, September 10, run of the European ensemble forecast showed that this new system would be a named storm in or just north of the Caribbean late next week.

Survivors of Hurricane Maria hand out fruit trees in Puerto Rico

However, the future track of the system could be affected by the position and strength of Paulette and Rene, by the structure of the wave once it organizes into a tropical depression, and also by the path and intensity of another tropical wave likely to move off the coast of Africa on Saturday – variables very difficult to accurately predict. In an 8 a.m. EDT Thursday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the new wave two-day and five-day odds of development of 60% and 90%, respectively. The wave behind it, expected to emerge from the coast on Saturday, was given two-day and five-day odds of development of 0% and 40%, respectively.

The next two names on the Atlantic list of storms are Sally and Teddy.

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Posted on September 10, 2020 (2:06pm EDT).

Jeff Masters

Jeff Masters, Ph.D., worked as a hurricane scientist with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. After a near-fatal flight into category 5 Hurricane Hugo, he left the Hurricane Hunters to pursue a...

110 replies on “La Niña has begun, could bring more landfalling hurricanes to U.S.”

  1. Thus far the Atlantic basin has chosen to disperse heat energy in rather low key ways. High name volume certainly isn’t meshing with overall severity. Laura, one exception. Plenty of time for that to change. Low latitude land influence and somewhat surprising shear has kept the brakes on.

  2. Happy Birthday, Doc!!!

    Thank you for the post, as well! The landfall statistics for La Nina are pretty sobering.

    1. Those are VERY weak vorticies. As in, my kid’s bathtub has a more defined vort. This isn’t going to “take off” or suddenly become a “real problem”. It has a LOT of work to do, beyond stacking vort – it also has to get some real structure to the storms, start deepening, and not run into land that is less than 200 miles away (that it is moving towards, no less).

  3. 96L is looking gamely this morning. Judging by the flurry of PTSD FL Bust Caster activity, we could be in for a storm.. Conditions from are fogged over, had a few showers in the last hour & a little bit of ground to cloud lightning. Put together a self updating blog with a slide show late last night that is still getting added to. There is video of a guy riding thru Talent on a bike as it burns in there too..


      1. If it is indeed moving West at only 3 MPH and currently about 200 miles away from the Florida coast, that will give it about 2 days to get organize. Am I seeing this correctly?

  4. Good morning all. Does anyone have the link for the backdoor for the cat 6 comments section? Would be appreciated.

  5. “If we’re serious about our faith, then we need to be serious about taking care of his creation,” she says. nah don’t buy it, . the only thing religion does is divide!

    1. They’re selling fear induced after life insurance. As such, it’s a business and should be taxed. Think of the revenue and all the Charlatans who’d suddenly disappear. Most of these religious frauds live high off the hog. Wasn’t meant to be that way. SOCIETY needs the money, not a few whack jobs. Tax em all.

  6. 000
    FXUS62 KTBW 110758
    Area Forecast Discussion
    National Weather Service Tampa Bay Ruskin FL
    358 AM EDT Fri Sep 11 2020
    A few high clouds and a very moist and warm airmass dominating the
    Sunshine state this morning, as weak trough continues to move west
    over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. East to northeasterly winds prevail
    across most of the peninsula and this will continue through most of
    today as high pressure remains to our north.
    The main weather story though will be the gradual increase in moisture
    expected this afternoon and through the weekend, as another low
    pressure disturbance approaches Florida. The additional tropical
    moisture (PWATs over 2.25 inches) combined with the typical sea
    breeze will support strong showers and thunderstorms along this
    boundary. This will bring heavy rainfall and localized flooding to
    coastal areas already saturated. Additionally, WPC has highlighted
    west central and southwest Florida areas with a marginal risk for
    excessive rainfall during that period. These factors and the
    increase in confidence on heavy rain today through the weekend
    resulted in the extension of the flood watch already in place from
    Pinellas County southward to this afternoon, and remaining in
    effect through early Sunday. Residents in these areas should
    remain weather ready and PLEASE, if you encounter a flooded road,
    Storm activity should wind down through the evening, but another
    round of showers and thunderstorms will return to the state
    Saturday afternoon and evening as low pressure moves across the
    state. Showers could persist overnight and into Sunday with winds
    becoming more southeasterly. Meanwhile, afternoon temperatures
    remain be in the 90s and overnight temperatures will be in the mid
    to upper 70s through the period.
  7. Billionaires Won Corona:
    Imagine you’re just finishing your shift as a picker at an Amazon warehouse.

    All day long you’ve been carting items for other people, under giant letters on the wall that spell “work hard. have fun. make history.” The pandemic has been hard on you. You can tell from what people are buying that it’s been hard on just about everybody. But as you come off shift, you get life-changing news.

    Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, has decided to give you a bonus. In fact, he has decided to give every single employee of Amazon — some 876,000 people — a one-time pandemic bonus. A $105,000 bonus. Serious money. The kind of money that, if invested over a couple of decades, would give you a real retirement nest egg.

    The crazy thing? The money he is giving you — it’s merely the extra wealth he gained during the pandemic, wealth that you built. After he has paid out those $92 billion in bonuses, he will still be comfortably off. In fact, as rich as he was before coronatime.
    Of course, Bezos isn’t going to do this. But the fact that he could is one of the striking findings of a new report from Oxfam on plutocratic profiteering from the pandemic.

    The report, of which The.Ink got an exclusive preview, makes clear that the billionaire class hasn’t just fiddled while Rome burns. It has made a fortune from the flames.
    The pandemic threatens to drive half a billion human beings into poverty around the world, according to the report, which is titled “Power, Profits and the Pandemic.” Even so, 32 of the world’s biggest corporations will see profits swell by $109 billion in 2020.

    I remain steadfast in my belief that community currencies and more specialized and localized manufacturing/production MUST be part of the extreme climate crisis solution. An integral part. More domestic economic development/stimulus, more jobs, better resource control and waste stream management, less emmissions from triple- and quintuple-shipping in the supply chains. Fight against the oligarchs and plutocrats.

    Buy more local, support local, keep money local.

    1. I was just thinking about this today. Very sadly and worriedly.

      It’s extremely hard not to go with the lowest price, now more than ever, with so many people losing money one way or another.

      The rich are getting richer while many of the not-rich are strenuously pinching pennies.

      It’s hard not to see how much more expensive it is to shop at stores that don’t offer Walmart or Amazon discounts — with free delivery. It can easily make hundreds of dollars a month difference on groceries and other goods for a family.

      It’s sad and frustrating. I know big companies provide many jobs, and there’s no guarantee that the local businesses treat their employees any better than Amazon or Walmart. But one hates to see Walmart and Amazon making a killing while local business suffer more than ever as people choose not to shop in person so much or at all, especially higher risk individuals.

      Listening to the BBC discussing the refugee crises today, I thought about what I had just heard — which was that after WW2 countries were actually squabbling amongst themselves over many (not all) of the refugees — to keep them from leaving, to entice them to return. Every nation needed their labor, their help in rebuilding and remaking communities.

      Today, rather than needing them, most countries strain to help them, and many people consider them as expenses, mouths to feed, minds to educate, etc, and dangerous. (Germany is different, but their right wing is rallying ever louder against taking more.)

      I thought of how big agriculture and big businesses with their low paying jobs and cheap products, compared to small scale production, seems cruelly necessary to prevent massive starvation. Food and goods have to be cheap to help masses of the unemployed. Masses must have work. We feel it so much with so many laid off due to the pandemic.

      I certainly take your ideas and solutions over my own, though. I see how smart you are.
      Still, I’m so sad.

      My post-war thoughts were spurred by this interview with historian David Nasaw:

      1. Thanks for your thoughtful remarks, Jiiski. I know I can ramble on (I promise I’ll try not to here) about these and so many related topics. I’m a highly visual learner and struggle with podcasts, but I’m trying to get through your link suggestion rn.

        Lowering prices come from status quo economics. You know that ‘privatize the profits, socialize the losses’ model. Every dollar that stays in a local economy (not withdrawn to corporations like Starbuck’s/Amazon/WalMart) effectively works like $7+ in spending power. It recirculates and creates more spending/business/taxes/etc. Rethinking Money by Bernard Lietaer and other books by Paul Hawken describe this in detail. More people making decent money would create more consumers – unlike offshoring jobs to cut costs.

        I would enjoy more discussion, but this format disallows it. Like how Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the Hoover Dam on budget and on time, comparing that to Boston’s Big Dig or SF’s new Bay Bridge span. I wish more action could be taken to help positively affect those most vulnerable. Not just utilizing inhumane working conditions like WWII work camp examples.

        Sorry, I can’t recall if you ever read my ‘Accelerating Yutu Recovery’ proposal from two years ago. I tried to cover some of this. Cheers.

    2. the lack of understanding of economics to say that the low level employee built his vast amount of wealth is astounding. That employee probably made paid for his own salary plus some profit if a business is run correctly. Lets take your money and give it to other people? Why not ? Everyone should be fighting for more money, including Bezos. But it is not for you to tell someone else how to run their own business, which Jeff Bezos founded, changed the world, and now gets to be a billionaire. He was not born with it, his ideas made him rich. Stop worrying about what your neighbor has and worry about what you need to do to better your life with out stealing wealth from someone else, and when you make it, you can pay your employees what ever you want.

      1. You’re right, everyone should fight for more money. We need more unions so people can fight. Plus governments should force Bezos to pay for the real cost of his profits, including the infrastructure he utilizes from we the people setting up an environment where its easy to find and deliver product as a middleman sucking up change from transactions between businesses and consumers. I guess maybe just the pandemic profits would be enough and no need to worry about whether someone else is making more money than others, like you said. Just be fair.

  8. 9/11
    Hurricane Hanna shows private border wall will fall into Rio Grande, opposition group says
    “Engineering reports related to lawsuits cite erosion after Hurricane Hanna; contractor says problem has been remedied””The critics argued the project would cause erosion that could shift the river’s course, and potentially the border itself. They believe that is now starting to happen, after gashes in the bank appeared under portions of the wall, months after it was built, they said.
    “Fisher Industries’ private bollard fence will fail during extreme high flow events and further exacerbate damage at the failure site[s] and to adjacent lands,” wrote Mark Tompkins, an engineer working for the National Butterfly Center, which is claiming the wall could increase flooding on its property. He added that the July Category 1 hurricane was minor compared to large storms often seen there.”
    “Mr. Fisher cleared three miles of riverbank, flattened the natural vertical bank into a beach and built the 18-foot wall right next to the water—in contrast to the federal government, which is building the South Texas border wall on levees outside the Rio Grande’s floodplain.”
    “We Build the Wall, a nonprofit that claimed credit for the project despite having little role in it, recently saw its leaders, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon,  accused of defrauding donorswho gave to private border wall efforts. All have pleaded not guilty and are set for trial next year.
    Meanwhile, the project’s contractor, North Dakota-based Fisher Industries, continues to receive billions of dollars in government contracts.”Two lawsuits are pushing back against the wall in South Texas—one from the federal agency that enforces border treaties with Mexico and another from a neighboring butterfly preserve. The late August engineering reports came after parties to the lawsuits were granted access to the wall, on private land, to inspect it on Aug. 3. Trials in the suits haven’t yet been scheduled.”


    1. mets are saying this bahama’s tropical wave will be crossing over Florida saturday and might bring flooding rains ..hopefully not too strong on winds etc

  9. Oof, La Niña
    this does the Western US no favors, re moisture
    As far as the Atlantic Hurricane Season, methinks we’ll be outta names by the end of the month, when the next MJO hits

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