Kyle is a minimal tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, which are predicted to increase to 50 mph over the weekend. By early next week, as it races north over colder water, it is expected to transition to a nontropical weather system over the North Atlantic, never posing any danger to land.
Kyle formed more than three months earlier than the average K storm. It’s the latest in a parade of record-setting storms.
This hyperactive hurricane season has also featured the earliest C, E, F, G, H, I and J storms on record: Cristobal, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias and Josephine, respectively. The previous earliest K storm was Hurricane Katrina, on Aug. 24, 2005.
The average date for a season’s 11th named storm is Nov. 23, with hurricane season officially ending Nov. 30. The ongoing hurricane season has produced double the typical number of storms.
However, by some metrics, the 2020 hurricane season hasn’t been top tier, as many of the storms that have formed have not been particularly intense.
Kyle developed fast on the heels of Tropical Storm Josephine, which was named on Thursday morning. Josephine, centered 460 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands, packed 40 mph peak winds at 5 p.m. Friday. The storm may strengthen slightly Friday night before a weakening trend commences over the weekend.
Through Sunday, the outer bands of Josephine may brush the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with some downpours that add up to 1 to 3 inches of rainfall, but no tropical storm advisories are in effect.
By early next week, Josephine is forecast to degenerate into a remnant zone of low pressure over the open Atlantic, perhaps bringing some rain showers to Bermuda by the middle of the next week.
Once Josephine and Kyle are history, conditions in the Atlantic will likely become ripe for more named tropical systems to follow. Warm sea surface temperatures, which are fuel for tropical storms and hurricanes, are higher than normal, and several other environmental ingredients may come together to boost the chances of tropical development.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Colorado State University recently updated their Atlantic hurricane forecasts, increasing their predicted number of named storms, raising the specter that the 2020 season may run out of names.