2014 East Pacific: The dance of the storms!

This Friday 22 August marks the 99th day of the 2014 East Pacific hurricane season, which ‘officially’ launched on 15 May, and as if to highlight the occasion Tropical storm MARIE the 13th-named tropical cyclone of the season is now active off the coast of southern Mexico.

Satellite image (NOAA) of 22 August 2014 showing water vapor in the atmosphere to highlight the three tropical storms simultaneously active over the East Pacific
Satellite image (NOAA) of 22 August 2014 showing water vapor in the atmosphere to highlight the three tropical storms simultaneously active over the East Pacific

There are in fact three tropical storms simultaneously active over the Eastern Pacific near the coast of Mexico. KARINALOWELL  and now MARIE, three tropical cyclones doing the ‘dance of the storms’ in the East Pacific basin.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 22 August 2014 over the East Pacific sub-basin
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 22 August 2014 over the East Pacific sub-basin

The East Pacific region has been particularly active in 2014 averaging one named-storm per week (roughly every 7.6 days) since the start of the season. In addition to the three tropical storms currently active, the region to the east-southeast of tropical storm Marie reaching into the Gulf of Panama and northwestern South America is  populated by numerous tropical waves and storm cells, in a patterns that has persisted for most of this season and over the past several years. It appears many of the tropical waves coming out of Equatorial Africa and across the southern fringe of ‘hurricane alley’ are coming across over the northern region of South America and the Panama isthmus into the East Pacific sub-basin.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 22 August 2014 showing a system of disturbed weather and potential cyclonic development near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 22 August 2014 showing a system of disturbed weather and potential cyclonic development near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

By contrast the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, now in its 83rd day, has only spawned two named-storms so far although we are now monitoring a disturbed weather system making its way toward Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands today, which is showing signs of getting better organized and stronger with a potential for cyclonic development in the next day or so; we could be looking at the third named storm of the season. But we will have to keep watching this system to see if it will become Cristobal.