2014 The Atlantic is stirring and Karina does a 180!

After a sluggish first half so far the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season  may be showing some signs of activity, as we approach the historical peak of the season. A conglomerate of storm and rain cells that moved down ‘hurricane alley’ in recent days is now interacting with Hispaniola and showing signs of organization and continued strengthening. Although hurricane-hunter airplanes have failed to detect a center of circulation, the system is given a high probability for cyclonic development over the next day or so as it approaches the southeastern Bahamas. Should this system become a tropical cyclone it would be ‘Cristobal’ the 3rd named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 23 August 2014 showing the weather disturbance no near Hispaniola, which might become the 3rd named storm of the season
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 23 August 2014 showing the weather disturbance no near Hispaniola, which might become the 3rd named storm of the season

While we continue to monitor the progress of this  system and wait to see if it indeed may become a named storm, we need to keep our eyes farther to the east over the eastern Atlantic south of the Cape Verde Islands, and over Equatorial Africa where the ‘tropical wave assembly line’ is also showing signs of increased activity.

On the other side, over the East Pacific Ocean the ‘dance of the storms’ continue with some surprising and interesting developments taking place overnight. Two of the storms, KARINA and MARIE have reached hurricane strength while LOWELL continues to maintaining tropical storm status.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 23 August 2014 showing two hurricanes and a tropical storm active over the East Pacific
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 23 August 2014 showing two hurricanes and a tropical storm active over the East Pacific

Hurricane KARINA, which originated from tropical depression #12 on 11 August, had traveled some 3,500 kilometers in a generally westward direction pointing toward Hawaii before becoming a hurricane and turning around by 180 degrees in the middle of the ocean. As a result of this veritable pirouette KARINA is now following an ENE track toward the coast of Mexico, while LOWELL and MARIE are tracking NW and NNW respectively.

Projected track (courtesy of U.S. Navy Research Laboratory based on NOAA data) for Hurricane KARINA as of 08/23/2014 showing the recent 180 degree turn
Projected track (courtesy of U.S. Navy Research Laboratory based on NOAA data) for Hurricane KARINA as of 08/23/2014 showing the recent 180 degree turn

Mother nature never ceases to surprise us!