It is still quite early in the tropical season, however it’s worth keeping an eye on the inland hydrologic situation in case a system develops and moves inland.
Here is the climatology of tropical activity. While we are in “hurricane season” you can see that activity is much less now than later in August and September.
It is not unusual for any tropical systems that develop to form “close-in” typically in the Gulf of Mexico. Here are historical development spots for this time of year.
Hurricanes play an interesting role when they move inland. Of course, the greatest concern is the potential for catastrophic flooding. Some of the biggest floods on record have occured when a tropical system moves inland. However, there are also impacts when there is a lack of inland-moving tropical systems over the course of a season. Tropical systems can play a role in water resources recharge and lessen the impact of drought.
As is stands early in the season, much of the Southeast U.S. is in some degree of drought and a “manageable” amount of tropical rainfall would be of benefit. Let’s look closer as some of the typical entry regions.
Florida – has been experiencing drought conditions for a while now. However, just recently, enhanced amounts of rainfall have been reducing drought’s impacts. The southern third of the Peninsula is the most vulnerable due to recent rainfall. The rest of the state, despite recent rain can still take some rain before significant flooding is a concern.
Currently, a weak tropical low is expected to move over Florida. Considering the recent rainfall and the potential for very hevay rain – short-term vulnerabilities in this area can be considered high.
Southeast U.S. Entry – Georgia and South Carolina. The current vulnerability for this region is very low. Drought grips the region and it can take at least 3 inches of rain, and likely closer to 5, before flooding is a concern. Most reservoirs are well below their flood control pools and can hold significant amounts of water.
Mid Atlantic Entry – Average vulnerability
Northeast U.S. – Due to the increased population density and urbanization this region is always vulnerable should a system move inland. Currently, considering past recent rainfall, the vulnerability is avarage.
West Gulf Entry – Texas and Louisiana are also in drought, but to a lessor degree than the Southeast U.S. Current vulnerabilities for this region would be low.