A bit more than two weeks ago one more tropical wave emerged from equatorial Africa over the waters of the eastern Atlantic, south of the Cape Verde Islands. By August 18th if was morphing into a tropical storm over the eastern Caribbean aiming for the area of Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Eventually it made landfall and traversed the Yucatan to then emerge over the Bay of Campeche in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico where it reorganized, gained strength and became Hurricane HARVEY!
While we were commemorating the 25th anniversary of Cat 5 Hurricane ANDREW (1992), and remembering all the devastation and lessons learned, HARVEY continued to strengthen as it approached the Texas coastline and a vast region of very warm surface waters in the northern Gulf. We all know what happened next, Harvey intensified rapidly near the coast reaching category 4 strength as it made its second landfall. We all know the rest of the story, in fact we are all watching the story develop as Harvey is pouring a veritable deluge, one for the record books, over a vast region of Texas.
Keeping an eye of Harvey should not detract us from also looking at the rest of the Atlantic basin, which is quite agitated on this Sunday 27 August 2017. The tropical wave that was in the eastern Gulf near Florida, has caused abundant rain over central and southern Florida while traversing the state and emerging over the Atlantic where it is now off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, getting organized and looking poised for possible cyclonic development.
Beyond this potential new threat of cyclonic impact to our coastline, we see yet another tropical wave over the eastern Gulf, and a few more from the neighborhood of Puerto Rico to the eastern Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands. In fact that still far away tropical wave off the African coast is already showing some cyclonic tendencies that warrant close monitoring in coming days.
So, the entire Atlantic basin appears agitated and populated by ‘seeds’ for potential cyclogenesis in coming days, just as we approach what historically has been the peak of the annual Atlantic hurricane season. Food for thought. All interest in the Caribbean, Gulf, Florida and the Atlantic seaboard of the U.S. must remain alert. Be prepared. MITIGATE!
On this Saturday 19 August we are eleven weeks and two days into the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which means the ‘official’ Atlantic season is now 43.4% complete. Technically this means we have fourteen weeks and five days left in the season, unless Mother Nature decides to do something different.
More important than how much time is left for the official 2017 Atlantic hurricane season to be over, is the fact that we are approaching what historically has been the peak of the Atlantic season, the first half of September.
The Atlantic has been busy with tropical cyclones so far in 2017, with eight named storms so far; Tropical Storm HARVEY, now in the east-central Caribbean and moving in the general direction of Belize and the Yucatan, is the 8th named tropical cyclone in 2017 in the Atlantic basin.
In what could be a possible sign of things to come during the approaching peak of the season, there are several tropical waves and areas of disturbed weather following behind HARVEY to the northeast of Puerto Rico and along ‘hurricane alley’ all the way to the eastern Atlantic waters off the coast of equatorial Africa south of the Cape Verde Islands, which could be seeds for potential cyclogenesis in the basin. A possible contributing factor to such potential cyclonic activity could be the rather warm surface waters along ‘Hurricane Alley’, in the Caribbean and the Gulf and other areas of the Atlantic basin.
On the other side of the continent, over the eastern waters of the north Pacific, the 2017 hurricane season that officially started on 15 May has also been a busy one so far, with eleven named tropical cyclones in 13 weeks. The latest tropical cyclone there is Tropical Storm KENNETH now moving NNW and away from land.
All interest affected by cyclonic activity generated in the Atlantic basin and in the eastern north Pacific sub-basin must pay attention. Get ready. Be prepared. Remain alert. MITIGATE!