The Calm after (..before?) the Storm

Atlantic-wide satelite view for the aviation industry on 30 September 2010 at 1115 EST

  On this 30 September 2010 South Florida is enjoying a bright sunny day with temperatures in the mid-80s and only a 20% chance of rain, in the form of scattered showers if they come; quite a contrast with the previous two days when a blanket of rain covered the region courtesy of Tropical Depression #16/tropical Storm NICOLE.

So, is this the calm after the storm? Can we now relax and enjoy our great tropical weather on this early fall day? Or is this a case of “enjoy it while you can” because there is more coming our way? Perhaps we should call this the “calm BEFORE the storm”, for if we look east toward ‘Hurricane Alley’, the eastern Atlantic and equatorial Africa and beyond, we will see plenty of tropical activity and fuel for potential tropical cyclone formation.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite view on 30 September 2010 at 1145 RST showing a large region of disturbed weather consisting of two interacting tropical waves riding Hurricane Alley approaching the Lesser Antilles. The environment is favorable for further development.

  There are in fact two interacting tropical waves in Hurricane Alley now approaching the Lesser Antilles, which together cover approximately 2.0 million square miles of the Atlantic. This large area of disturbed weather appears to be getting better organized as it moves westward in an environment of warn water and favorable winds that may lead to further development in the next day or so.

Behind this large region of disturbed weather there is another tropical wave just south of the Cape Verde Islands, several more over equatorial Africa and a few more over the Indian Ocean, all moving westward toward Hurricane Alley. It appears the belt of tropical activity is alive and well as we approach the last third of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

  Closer to our South Florida neck-of-the-woods out to sea and still in the Caribbean, but affecting most of the USA eastern seaboard and Canada, and all the way across the Atlantic into western Europe there is plenty of moisture and disturbed weather left over from Nicole and associated with an area of low pressure riding above the Gulf Stream current affecting a huge coastal region with rain and disturbed weather.

We must remain vigilant and monitor the Caribbean, Hurricane Alley, equatorial Africa and beyond for any signs of tropical cyclone activity that may develop and come our way. Pay attention! Be prepared!! MITIGATE!!!

The Peak of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The month of September 2010 is not over yet and it is already one for the record books in terms of tropical cyclone activity. We have seen plenty of activity throughout the larger basin, in the tropical North Atlantic, in the Caribbean and in the Gulf. Tropical cyclone activity this September has offered a wide variety of storms, from major hurricanes, to a hurricane that made it all the way to Greenland, to a tropical storm that actually spawned its own “clone” (Matthew), to storms that decayed and almost dissipated only to be reactivated again (Julia, Lisa).

Color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite view of Tropical Depression #16 ("Matthew the Clone") identified by the solid yellow outline as it mover in the northwestern Caribbean toward Southeast Florida and point beyond. Dotted yellow outlines identify other areas of disturbed weather and tropical waves that are active in the neighborhood of TD #16 and the western end of 'Hurricane Alley" approaching the Lesser Antilles.
Projected track for Tropical Depression #16 on 28 September 2010 developed by the Navy Rsearch Laboratory based on data from NOAA's National Hurricane Center.

  As this post is being written “Matthew the Sequel” has become tropical depression #16 and it is moving north-by northeast toward South Florida and coastal regions beyond, in the Carolinas and up the eastern seaboard.

Mosaic of composite satellite views on 28 September 2010 showing tropical cyclone activity and potential seeds for additional tropical cyclpne generation over the eastern Atlantic, equatorial Africa and the Indian Ocean. It would appear there is plenty of 'fuel' in the tropics to keep tropical cyclone activity in the larger Atlantic basin active over the next few weeks.

Looking east we see that ‘Hurricane Alley’ is already populated by a few tropical waves, some of which are looking rather threatening, and farter east over equatorial Africa and beyond over the Indian Ocean, numerous tropical waves of all shape and sizes continue marching westward to ride the ‘Tropical Wave Assembly Line” in Africa, which eventually may emerge over the eastern Atlantic and head in the general direction of the Caribbean, Gulf and USA Atlantic coastal regions.

Full disk view of Earth's western hemisphere showing a portion of the tropical activity belt, which has been around the Earth for most of this 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

  The question is: have we hit the peak of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season or are we in for another burst of activity in October similar to what we have seen in September? Only time will tell what will have transpired in what remains of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, but for now we must concentrate in monitoring all these waves as they appear over the horizon, while being prepared. As we have said throughout this season, Pay Attention! Be prepared!! MITIGATE!!