Tropical storm IGOR already had the nice spiral shape of a tropical cyclone as it rode along Hurricane Alley on the verge of becoming a hurricane on 11 September 2010 at 0947 EST, packing 70 mph sustained winds while mowing toward the west at a fast 21 mph some 2500 miles away from South Florida, still too far away from the USA coastline to predict where, and if, it might make it all the way here for landfall or if it will veer off into the open waters of the Atlantic. This current uncertainty is one more reason for all USA coastal Atlantic communities to remain vigilant and closely monitor Igor’s progress in coming days.
Some 1200 miles to the west of Igor in the northeastern Caribbean to the south of Puerto Rico is a large tropical wave that has been getting better organized and stronger, both signs of potential tropical cyclone development, as it moves westward. This system has generated large amounts of rain over Puerto Rico and it may pose the same risk for Hispaniola, where the interaction with higher mountain ranges in Dominican Republic and Haiti raises the possibility of potential flash floods and damage, a daunting prospect especially in earthquake devastated Haiti where large numbers remain homeless.
As mid-September approaches so does the historical peak of the annual Atlantic hurricane season, which is taking place with a strong tropical wave just off the coast of equatorial Africa to the SE of the Cape Verde Islands starting its journey toward Hurricane Alley. Other tropical waves follow behind over the ‘assembly line’ in the African continent while around the globe we continue to see the “belt” of tropical activity circling the Earth just above the equator; at the same time we continue to see plenty of tropical cyclone activity in the far western Pacific affecting the Philippines- Korea – Vietnam triangle, such activity spills over most of Indonesia and into the Indian Ocean, which is a region that often originates the seeds for tropical waves that move westward over Africa and eventually emerge over the warm waters of the eastern Atlantic completing a full circle. In summary, there appears to be plenty of ‘fuel’ for tropical cyclone generation in the Atlantic as well as the Pacific when we still have more than ten weeks left in the “official” 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.