Breakdown: Why the Atlantic hurricane season is shifting into high gear

Updated: Aug. 26, 2020 at 9:30 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has already started at a record pace. As we approach the middle of the season, several factors will line up to help aid in tropical formation. In this episode of the Breakdown, we explain why the hurricane season is about to shift into high gear.

There are several factors that will start to line up as we approach the peak of Hurricane Season, which is labeled as September 10th.

The first factor is that more tropical waves are starting to form off the coast of Africa and move into the Atlantic Basin. According to, these waves are disturbances of moisture and spin in the atmosphere that are also known as Africa easterly waves. These are most numerous from June to August.

The next factor are that ocean waters are getting warmer. This is usually the peak heating of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Warmer ocean waters tend to be fuel for storms as they build int he oceans.

The next factor is the wind shear in the oceans are approaching their season low point. Wind shear can rip apart tropical systems. With the lack of wind shear, this will also aid in the development of tropical systems.

The dry air across the ocean waters will lose its punch during this part of the hurricane season. Dust filled air from Africa usually moves across the ocean waters. The dry air helps prevent tropical storm from developing, but as this air moves out and moist air moves in, this also helps build tropical systems.

The final major factor that contributes to storm development is large-scale waves. These waves, such as the Madden Julian Oscillation, would align to help form tropical development.

All these factors work in harmony to help cause tropical storms to not only develop but to sustain across the ocean and into the shores of the United States.

With peak season right around the corner, we will continue to watch these factors develop and see if this will help aid in the already busy 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season. Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.