Category Archives: Cyclogenesis

The Caribbean and Eastern East Pacific Flare-up on 5 June 2011!

On the fifth day of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season the region of disturbed weather that has lingered for the past few weeks at the junction of Panama and South America appears to be expanding into the Caribbean and the eastern east Pacific. The GOES satellite image [courtesy of NASA] for the aviation industry taken on 5 June 2011, shown below, illustrates:

satellite image for the aviaion industry on 5 June 2011 at 14:45 DST.”]There are two strong and distinct cells of disturbed weather in the Caribbean, just east of Jamaica centered on an area of low pressure, and in the eastern east Pacific off the coast of Central America and Mexico, which can be seen on the color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite image [courtesy of NASA] on 5 June 2011 shown below:

GOES color-enhanced infrared image on 5 June 2011

The solid yellow outlines on the image above identify the two areas of low pressure that have generated cells of disturbed weather, thunderstorms and heavy rain over the Caribbean and the eastern east Pacific. The Caribbean cell is moving northwest by north and is already causing heavy rains over Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and portions of Cuba. Both these cells are being monitoredby the National Hurricane Center and NOAA’s Tropical Prediction Center for potential further development over the next 24-48 hours. Although the eastern east Pacific cell is  moving away from the continental landmass, the combination of both cells has generated some rain over the Yucatan peninsula, especially Quintana Roo state in Mexico, which have been under drought conditions for some time now. These rains are a welcome development in Quintana Roo where wild fires have affected several areas in the state. The potential for rain nay be as high as 51 mm over the next few hours, as it is illustrated by the regional map shown below:

Satellite view on 5 June 2011 showing potential precipitation over the Caribbean region

In the mean time the area of low pressure and associated storm cell over the eastern east Pacific appears to be getting better organized as it flows over an area of rather warm surface water [30+ Celsius]. Other cells of disturbed weather off the coast  of Nicaragua, and further south near Panama and Colombia and over the northern regions of Colombia and Venezuela appear to be linking with large cells of disturbed weather moving westward over hurricane alley an it is shown on the satellite image below:

GOES satellite image for the aviation industry of the eastern east Pacific region on 5 JUne 2011

While the Caribbean and eastern east Pacific are flaring-up on 5 June 2011, the central Atlantic and especially the far eastern Atlantic are also being affected by large regions of disturbed weather, which are generating rain and thunderstorms. As was expected with the nearing advent of the summer solstice, the tropical wave assembly line over equatorial Africa has become quite active feeding pulse after pulse of tropical activity to hurricane alleyThese tropical waves have the potential for contributing to cyclogenesis [generation of tropical cyclones] as they ride along hurricane alley toward the Caribbean and the central Atlantic. Currently several tropical waves are moving westward along hurricane alley while others form a train of tropical pulses over equatorial Africa as shown on the satellite image below:

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of the eastern Atlantic on 5 June 2011

An overall picture of all of the conditions described above can be gained from the full-disk composite satellite image of Earth’s western hemisphere on 5 June 2011, which follows:

Full-disk satellite view of Earth's western hemisphere on 5 June 2011

2011 Hurricane Season is Here!

Several storm and rain cells are active of the 4th day of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season

 On the 4th day of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season and 20th day of the eastern Pacific season, a color-enhanced infrared image from the GOES [geostationary] satellite [courtesy of NASA] shows several active tropica cells in the central Atlatinc, the Caribbean, the Gulf, the eastern east Pacific off the coast of Mexico and Central America and over the northern regions of Colombia and Venezuela.

#1 on the satellite image taken on 4 July 2011 at 14:45 DST identifies an area of low pressure to the southeast of Jamaica where heavy precipitation and storms are taking place. This cell is being monitored by NOAA’s Tropical Prediction Center [TPC] for potential tropical cyclone development over the next 36 – 48 hours. The system is expected to bring heavy rain to portions of Cuba, Haiti, the Domincan Republic, Jamiaca and quite possibly Grand Cayman and portions of Honduras and NIcaragua over the next day or so.
On the eastern east Pacific, where the official 2011 Hurricane season got off on 15 May 2011, #2 on the satellite image identifies another cell of disturbed weather off the coast of Central America and Mexico associated with a nucleus of low pressure that may warrant monitoring for potential further development over the next 24-48 hours. This region. where surface sea waters are quite warm [above 30 celsius], of the eastern Pacific saw numerous similar cells during 2010 quite possibly influenced by the ongoing La Nina event off the coast of Peru in the Pacific, and the pattern appears to be continuing in 2011.
Over in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Veracruz, Mexico there is a small area of disturbed weather that appears to be getting better organized and may warrant some monitoring.
Also seen on the NASA satellite image are numerous cells of disturbed weather over the central Atlantic and the northern regions of Colombia and Venezuela. Both these areas have see several flashes of disturbeb weather over the past few weeks in a pattern that is a repeat of activity in the same regions during the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Based of these flashes of disturbed weather and the continuously warmer surface waters in the larger basin, it would appear it may not be too long before cyclogenesis takes place. Related to this it is interesting to note the drought conditions that continue over the Yucatan peninsula, especially in Quintana Roo state where I visited this week (June 1-3) to take part in events related to the activation of civil defense hurricane committees in several of the political subdivions [“municipios”] in which the state is divided, and where there were numerous active wild fires because of the severly dry conditions and increasingly warmer temperatures affecting the region.