Thursday, July 9th 2020, 9:34 am - Disturbance 1 may soon become the sixth named storm of the 2020 season, with some impacts to Eastern Canada expected this weekend.
We're barely more than a month in the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season, and early indications that it would be an above-average one have been borne out so far, with five named storms. Now, we're eyeing a new tropical disturbance that may bring that total up to six.
Currently called "Disturbance 1" by the U.S. National Hurricane Center, the new prospect is whirling off the Carolinas, and has a 80 per cent chance of reaching tropical cyclone status as of 8 a.m. EDT on Thursday. It will take the name Fay if it crosses the threshold to become a full-fledged tropical storm.
The system currently is a cluster of thunderstorms and is expected to move up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard through the end of the work week, likely spoiling weekend plans for many in New England. A small increase in organization or a reformation of the centre, closer to the thunderstorm activity, could result in the formation of a tropical or subtropical cyclone by Thursday night.
Whether it develops into a named storm or not, locals can expect heavy rain, enhanced surf and possible flash flooding along the coast from this system as it inches up. Gusty winds are also possible along the seaboard through Saturday.
Beyond, the tropical system will churn its way up the coast, with affects that will be felt across Eastern Canada through the weekend. On Saturday morning, it will interact with a stationary front situated in Ontario, bringing 20-30 mm of rain to parts of the province.
It will also bring widespread rain to Quebec, primarily east of Quebec City, but the Eastern Townships and the aformentioned city could get clipped by the system as it treks to Atlantic Canada by Sunday morning.
As of now, it is looking like it will have less of an impact on Atlantic Canada than previously thought, with a drop in projected rainfall totals, closer to 20 to 30 mm for parts of Nova Scotia.
It has, as mentioned, been an active season so far, and already one for the record books in some cases.
The first named storm, Tropical Storm Arthur, already appeared in mid-May, getting the jump on the season's "official" start of June 1st, as did Tropical Storm Bertha soon after.
Tropical Storm Cristobal, boosted by remnants of a storm in the Pacific, roared back to life right on schedule in early June in the Bay of Campeche, and aside from bringing extreme rainfall to Central America, the moisture from its remnants reached deep into North America.
Lacklustre Tropical Storm Dolly rounded out the June tally, while early in July, Edouard became the earliest fifth-named storm on record.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicts an above-average spate of named storms this year, in the 13-19 range, of which 6-10 are expected to reach hurricane status.
With files from Jaclyn Whittal.