Tropical Waves March West on 11 August 2011

Following our own advice [See postings “7 August 2011: Looking East“; “1 August 2011: Hurricane Alley is Full of Traffic”  and “2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season: a New Level o Activity Ahead”] we have been monitoring tropical wave activity over equatorial Africa and the eastern Atlantic. Yesterday, 10 August 2011, there were two tropical waves that had just emerged, one following the other, over the previous 24 hours just south of the Cape Verde Islands, which caught our attention, because of the size, shape, rain and thunderstorm content, and also because of the generally favorable environment up ahead along ‘hurricane alley’.

Satellite image on 11 August 2011 showing water vapor in the atmosphere over the western portion of the north Atlantic basin showing some of the tropical waves we are monitoring


Color-enhanced infrared satellite image, taken six hours after the one above, showing the tropical waves affecting the region on 11 August 2011

Today, on 11 August 2011, both of these tropical waves have been investigated by the National Hurricane Center, which is given each one a 30% probability of tropical cyclone development within the next 48 hours or so. Both tropical waves are moving west in the general direction of the Lesser Antilles. While it is still too early to say how both these tropical waves might evolve in the next couple of days, it is not too early for interests in the Caribbean and Gulf basins and in Florida and the Bahamas to start monitoring these systems and to be prepared to take further action in the short term.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image taken the morning of 11 August 2011 showing a couple of tropical waves over the eastern Atlantic and others over equatorial Africa


Atlantic-wide Satellite image for the aviation industry taken in the afternoon of 11 August 2011

Beyond the eastern Atlantic and ‘hurricane alley’ there are several disturbed weather cells traversing equatorial Africa from east to west, and further east over the Arabian Sea and northern Indian Ocean a couple of large cells are making their way toward Africa to continue feeding the ‘tropical wave assembly line‘ and eventually ‘hurricane alley‘.

Composite of satellite images on 11 August 2011 creating a 'global mosaic' from the eastern Pacific through the Atlantic and equatorial Africa all the way to the northern Indian Ocean

Elsewhere, we see quite a large area of disturbed weather spanning the region from eastern Panama, over Costa Rica and Nicaragua, all the way to the eastern east Pacific waters off the coasts of Central America. This is a pattern that was quite persistent in 2010 over the same region, which lead to quite an active rainy season over most of Central America as well as the development of several tropical cyclones in that region of the Pacific.

Composite satellite image of the Erath's fulls disk over the western hemisphere on 11 August 2011 showing the 'belt of tropical activity' quite clearly circling the planet

Based on the signals we are getting over the past couple of days, our advice is “keep looking east; monitor those tropical waves over equatorial Africa and the eastern Atlantic closely; pay attention, be prepared, MITIGATE!!”

Conditions appear primed to go into a higher level during August and September.

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