BE PREPARED! Be alert!

It is Monday 30 June 2014! We are coming up on the first 30 days of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season and the 47th day of the 2014 (East) Pacific Hurricane season.

Water-vapor-filter satellite image (NOAA) of 30 June 2014 showing the Atlantic basin and 'Hurricane Alley'
Water-vapor-filter satellite image mosaic (NOAA) of 30 June 2014 showing the Atlantic basin and ‘Hurricane Alley’, as well as Equatorial Africa and the western Indian Ocean

The Atlantic basin has been rather quiet so far, but Florida has been “under the influence” of disturbed weather systems coming in from the Gulf of Mexico, the extreme northwestern Caribbean, or from ‘mainland USA’ as large storms over Texas and the southern portion of the country have affected our state as well. Florida has seen its share of extreme rain and thunderstorms over the past few weeks, from the panhandle to South Beach and the Keys.

Visible light satellite image of 30 June 2014 in the morning showing the low pressure system off the east coast of Florida slowly moving SSW, showing some spiraling of rain bands toward the center of low pressure
Visible light GOES satellite image of 30 June 2014 in the morning showing the low pressure system off the east coast of Florida slowly moving SSW, showing some spiraling of rain bands toward the center of low pressure

Currently a low pressure system that has been sliding along the Florida coastline in the general direction of Southeast Florida is starting to show some potential cyclonic characteristics, and the possibility for further organization and strengthening as it comes into a favorable environment. It would appear the region is in for a couple of days of rough weather toward the middle of the week.

Water-vapor satellite mosaic image (NOAA) of 30 June 2014 showing Tropical Storm DOUGLAS off the coast of Mexico and a companion 'chasing' low pressure system nearer to the coast. Other features shown include a large storm cell in the Gulf of Panama and a train of tropical acyivity extending the length of the Pacific and beyond into the South China Sea
Water-vapor satellite mosaic image (NOAA) of 30 June 2014 showing Tropical Storm DOUGLAS off the coast of Mexico and a companion ‘chasing’ low pressure system nearer to the coast. Other features shown include a large storm cell in the Gulf of Panama and a train of tropical activity extending the length of the Pacific and beyond into the South China Sea

Also currently, Tropical Storm DOUGLAS, the fourth-named tropical cyclone of the 2014 season is near the Pacific coast of Mexico moving NW away from land. DOUGLAS is chased by a low pressure system closer to the coastline, which appears to be strengthening. Both of these systems are generating plenty of rain and thunderstorms over a wide region from central to southern Mexico.

Back in the Atlantic basin we are continuing to see a more  continuous presence of storms, disturbed weather cells, and tropical waves along ‘hurricane alley’, which had ever so slightly continued to shift northward. But, on the other hand, production of tropical waves in the ‘assembly line’ in Equatorial Africa has been somewhat spotty, so there is no steady and reliable supply of ‘cyclone seeds’ for hurricane alley.

Let’s wait and see how these various systems evolve in coming days, or what new systems may develop.  While doing this we must remain alert, be prepared, and always continue to practice mitigation!

OUR TROPICS: Something is stirring!

Tropical Depression #4 in the eastern East Pacific, off the Pacific coast of Mexico and a couple of low pressure systems, one just 370 km (230 miles) east of Jacksonville, Florida are signs that something may be ‘afoot’ in our neck-of-the-woods.

Infrared color-enhanced GOES WEST satellite image (NOAA) on 29 June 2014 showing a tropical depression chased by a low pressure system over the eastern east Pacific off the coast of Mexico
Infrared color-enhanced GOES WEST satellite image (NOAA) on 29 June 2014 showing a tropical depression chased by a low pressure system over the eastern east Pacific off the coast of Mexico

TD #4 is near Acapulco, Mexico in the same region that has recently generated other tropical activity during the 2014 East Pacific Hurricane Season, which officially activated  on 15 May 2014. The system which is moving generally WNW at 26 kph (16 mph) is being ‘chased’ by a large low pressure cell near the coast that may be showing some cyclonic tendencies. While both these east Pacific storms are moving away fro the mainland, vast amounts of rain and potential flooding is possible along the coastal region in central/southern Mexico.

Color-enhanced infrared GOES EAST satellite image (NOAA) from 29 June 2014 showing a low-pressure system tracking parallel to Florida's east coast
Color-enhanced infrared GOES EAST satellite image (NOAA) from 29 June 2014 showing a low-pressure system tracking parallel to Florida’s east coast

Closer to us, here in Florida, there is a low pressure system some 370 km (230 miles) east of Jacksonville that is moving generally southward paralleling the coastline. This system is tracking in a favorable ocean-atmosphere environment and showing some potential for cyclonic development in the course of the next couple of days. The National Hurricane Center is investigating this system.

Composite infrared full-disc satellite image (NASA) showing Earth's western hemisphere on 29 June 2014
Composite infrared full-disc satellite image (NASA) showing Earth’s western hemisphere on 29 June 2014

Zooming out to look at the larger North Atlantic basin and parts of the Pacific we can see the outline of the ‘belt of tropical activity’ gradually getting more defined and gradually shifting northward. It is clear we must monitor all of these systems closely, while remaining prepared and alert. Practice MITIGATION!