August 2018: the Pacific Ocean is Agitated!

The Pacific Ocean is by far the most active in terms of cyclogenesis,  of all oceans on Earth. Because of its vast size and depth, its immense capacity for storing solar heat and influencing our climate, the Pacific brings together all the factors that trigger cyclonic activity in the tropical regions.

This Tuesday, 14 August 2018, we are reminded of the northern tropical Pacific capability for generating tropical cyclones when studying satellite imagery showing an ocean in an agitated state.

Three tropical storms, Hector, Leepi, and Bebinca are active this 14 August over the northwest Pacific,

There are currently three active tropical storms, Hector, Leepi, and Bebinca, in the Northwest Pacific, as well as numerous and strong tropical waves and storms cells ranging from the central Pacific dateline throughout the Philippines Sea, all the way to the South China Sea. We are talking of a very large territory under the influence of tropical cyclones and other systems showing cyclonic potential.

Two tropical waves showing cyclonic potential off the coast of Mexico and Central America this 14 August 2018

At the opposite end of this vast ocean, some 13,000 kilometers from those far reaches, over the East Pacific off the coast of Mexico and Central America two strong tropical waves are being monitored for potential cyclonic development, while other cells of disturbed weather are on the move closer to land. So, there certainly is plenty of ‘fuel’ for additional cyclogenesis in days to come beyond those named-cyclones currently active in the Pacific.

Satellite image (NOAA) of 14 August showing a potentially cyclonic cell near the Azores, and an otherwise calm Atlantic basin

In contrast with this agitated Pacific, the Atlantic Ocean remains rather quiet this 2018 season. Satellite imagery (NOAA) today only show one potentially cyclonic system over the central north Atlantic to the west of the Azores Islands, and some rather light rain cells along Hurricane Alley and not much else. So we continue to wait and see as the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season in entering the beginning of its historically peak phase that runs through October.

Regardless of whether you border on an agitated or a calm ocean, it is critically important to remain aware of the tremendous potential for damage in tropical cyclones, and that it only takes one hit  to cause devastation and human suffering. Consequently, we must remain alert, be prepared, and above all MITIGATE!

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