Earlier today, Thursday 12 June 2014, around 0500 Pacific time Hurricane CRISTINA off the Pacific coast of Mexico reached category 4 strength in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. So, in about 24 hours this tropical cyclone, the 3rd named storm of the 2014 eastern Pacific Hurricane Season, went from a tropical storm to a strong major hurricane. That is quite a rapid intensification indeed!
During the afternoon hours, and even more this evening, CRISTINA has began to interact with a less favorable ocean-atmosphere environment where wind shear is already affecting it and surface waters although still quite warm, will be getting progressively cooler along the projected storm track.
As CRISTINA continues to move generally WNW, it is interesting to note that to its south and extending more than 9,000 kilometers there is a train of large tropical waves and storm cells reaching from northern South America into the far western tropical Pacific ocean and beyond. A clear sign that conditions for tropical cyclone development are growing more favorable in the northern hemisphere.
At the opposite side of the planet, in the Arabian Sea, category 1 Tropical Cyclone Nanauk continues to move toward Oman.
Elsewhere satellite imagery shows a train of tropical waves moving westward over Equatorial Africa toward the warm waters of the Atlantic to the south of the Cape Verde Islands, but ‘hurricane alley’ show little ‘traffic’ at this time.
It is clear that the various ocean basins in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, are showing the effects of warming surface waters and atmosphere in terms of numerous cells of disturbed weather and storms on a daily basis. Continuous monitoring by vulnerable communities around these basins is certainly warranted.