It’s still too early to tell whether The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore will be back in Myrtle Beach later this year or not.
It’s not that the famous severe weather chaser didn’t enjoy his live broadcast of America’s Morning Headquarters on Friday from Plyler Park with co-host Sam Champion. It’s just that although named storms got off to an early start this year — three have been named already and that usually doesn’t happen until the second week in August — Cantore said even he can’t nail down whether the Carolinas will likely see a tropical storm or hurricane this season.
“That doesn’t mean we’re going to have an above average hurricane season,” Cantore said of the early named storms. “I can’t tell you at this point and in this day there aren’t going to be any hurricanes in South Carolina.”
3The number of storms that have already been named, which is ahead of season
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In between handling an owl from Alligator Adventure and taking endless pictures with nearby fans, Cantore talked weather — both historically along the Grand Strand with people like Randy Webster, Horry County emergency management director, and currently with his television audience and the crowd that gathered around the live event.
Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas have seen a slightly warmer summer than last year, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C. June was 3.7 degrees above normal and so far, July has been 1.8 degrees above normal, according to the weather service.
As for precipitation, rain levels in North Myrtle Beach for the last 30 days are at 93 percent of normal rainfall, and the area has been experiencing a 3-inch shortage in rain for the last 60 days, according to the weather service.
“The subtropical ridge has been pretty strong,” Cantore said. “When that happens, you don’t get clouds. You don’t get thunderstorms to cool us off and it’s hot. It really heats up. There’s been a pretty deep flow around the subtropical ridge over the Atlantic. With that, we have deeper moisture coming in and it’s stacked pretty high. You can’t get thunderstorms because that ridge is pretty high.”
Still with the warmer weather and subsequent warmer ocean water along the coast, there are more factors to consider when talking hurricane season.
“There’s no correlation in terms of what we’ve had, between a hot summer or a cool summer, and hurricanes,” Cantore said. “The bigger players are: How are the water temperatures overall in the main development regions like the central Atlantic and the eastern Atlantic? They’re a little cooler than average and so is the Caribbean. How has the wind sheer been like? It’s been above average, and the pressures are about average.”
I like everybody to focus on the storm at hand or the wave at hand, because all it takes is one.”
The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore
In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center said there will be six to 11 named storms in the Atlantic this year, and three to six of them could be hurricanes. But Cantore warned about measuring by numbers and not by impact.
“I like everybody to focus on the storm at hand or the wave at hand, because all it takes is one,” Cantore said. “In a season, let’s say you only have four named storms and that fourth named storm is a big one that’s going to hammer the South Carolina coast, then guess what? That’s a big year.”