Take a look a the central Atlantic ocean north of the equator, just to the southeast of Bermuda, and today 20 April 2011 you will see a huge area of storms moving in the general direction of mainland USA!!for the aviation industry on 20 April 2011″]
- The GOES [Geostationary] satellite over the eastern USA captured an image of a rather large region of disturbed weather covering some 2.5 million square kilometers over the central Atlantic ocean just southeast of Bermuda and northeast of the Virgin Islands. With so much extreme weather activity causing tornado and flood damage in several states over the past couple of days and capturing our collective attention, it’s been easy to forget that with the advent of spring the waters north of the equator have warmed considerably over the past 30 – 60 days, and we are seeing more and more signs that the tropics are growing restless as we the “official” start of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season is less that six weeks away.
- Color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite image [NOAA] on 20 April 2011 showing what could well be the first ‘salvo’ of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season.Satellite imagery, such as the color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite photo taken earlier this afternoon of 20 April 2011, clearly show a region of low pressure over the central north Atlantic where rain and storm activity are being generated over a large area while the system moves in a generally westward direction. This satellite image also shows the areas of extreme weather that have been attacking large regions of the USA, causing death and damage over the last couple of days. Also shown are areas of storm activity over northern South America, Panama and Central America. These are all signs that as surface waters and the atmosphere to the north of the equator continue to warm up as spring takes hold of the northern hemisphere, tropical cyclogenesis can not be too far off even if the start of the “official” 2011 Atlantic hurricane season is 5-/12 weeks away. Other signs of impending tropical cyclonic activity and potential contributos to the same can be seen on other satellite images such as the ones that follow:
- Full Earth disk composite satellite image of the western hemisphere on 20 April 2011. The full Earth’s disk satellite image [NASA] on the left show once again the “belt” of tropical activity girdling the Earth around the equator as it slowly migrates northward. On the eastern [far right] extreme of the “belt” there are alreday signs of tropical waves emerging from over equatorial Africa over the eastern Atlantic to the south of the Cape Verde islands. So, here we see the outline of what is generally known as “hurricane alley”, lots of tropical activity near the equator, “pulses” of tropical waves moving westward over equatorial Africa toward the eastern Atlantic, and to top it all off, a large region of low pressure and disturbed weather in the middle of the Atlantic. It is clear the tropics are growing restless and tropical cyclones can not be too far off. Not seen here, but shown in additional images below, are the increasingly warmer waters of the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf and eastern Pacific, and the lingering La Nina [ENSO] off the coast of Peru, which are all potential contributign factors to cyclogenesis in the Atlantic in 2011.Map of sea surface temperatures on 19 April 2011.