2014 East Pacific Hurricane Season: 20 and counting!

Water-vapor satellite image [NOAA] of 30 October 2014 showing Tropical storm VANCE off the Pacific coast of Mexico and other disturbed weather near Central America and Panama
Water-vapor satellite image [NOAA] of 30 October 2014 showing Tropical storm VANCE off the Pacific coast of Mexico and other disturbed weather near Central America and Panama

The eastern Pacific off the coast of Mexico and Central America continues generating tropical  cyclones in what may become a season for the record books.

Visible-light satellite image [NASA] of 30 October 2014 showing Tropical storm VANCE as it moves pff the Pacific coast of centarl Mexico
Visible-light satellite image [NASA] of 30 October 2014 showing Tropical storm VANCE as it moves off the Pacific coast of central Mexico

Just today, Thursday 30 October 2014, tropical depression #21 reached tropical storm strength and took the name of VANCE. This storm is moving generally northwest into a favorable environment off the Pacific coast of Mexico where it is forecast to become a hurricane in the next couple of days or so. Meanwhile the eastern range of the sub-basin all the way to the  Gulf of Panama is populated by an aggregation of disturbed weather cells feeding into the region of the East Pacific ocean where we have seen twenty named storms so far this year.

Projected track for Tropical storm VANCE [courtesy of U.S. Navy Research Laboratory] as of 30 October 2014
Projected track for Tropical storm VANCE [courtesy of U.S. Navy Research Laboratory] as of 30 October 2014

On the other side of the landmass, over the Atlantic basin we have only had eight named storms in what so far has been a below-average 2014 hurricane season, the last one being tropical storm HANNAH, which made landfall in Nicaragua a few days ago.

TD NINE – DISTURBED SOUTH FLORIDA WEATHER

Satellite image (NOAA) of 22 October 2014 showing water vapor in the atmosphere, which highlights the cell of disturbed weather near the Florida straits and northwestern Cuba that has been generating plenty of rain, causing flooding, over South Florida
Satellite image (NOAA) of 22 October 2014 showing water vapor in the atmosphere, which highlights the cell of disturbed weather near the Florida straits and northwestern Cuba that has been generating plenty of rain, causing flooding, over South Florida

The weather system over the Bay of Campeche and the Yucatan peninsula, now Tropical Depression NINE, is drifting rather slowly toward the east across the Yucatan peninsula where it is generating  plenty of rain. The latest forecast has TD NINE emerging over the northwestern Caribbean, but there is uncertainty as to what it will do once it is there. It is possible that it will continue toward Cuba, but there is a chance that it might turn toward the Gulf and Florida. We will have to wait and see, while we monitor TD NINE closely.

Meanwhile, a large cell of disturbed weather between the Yucatan, Cuba and the Florida straits has been generating copious rain over South Florida since yesterday (Tuesday 21 October 2014), causing flooding in several areas, especially in Palm Beach County. This disturbance will continue tracking over South Florida where more rain and flooding are expected, especially on Thursday and Friday of this week.

National Weather Service report of TD NINE and the disturbed weather system affecting South Florida since yesterday
National Weather Service report of TD NINE and the disturbed weather system affecting South Florida since yesterday

This Friday 24 October 2014 is the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Wilma crossing of South Florida, which will mark nine years without a hurricane making landfall in Florida. The luck of the draw may have been in our favor all of these years, but we will do well to remain alert, be prepared, and keep on practicing MITIGATION!