Category Archives: Tropical Depression

# 14 IS HERE! A DELUGE IN NICARAGUA!

Some ten days ago, around September 26 or 27, a couple of disturbed weather cells formed in the southeastern Caribbean to the east of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, just as we were monitoring tropical cyclones KIRK and LESLIE in the Atlantic basin.

Satellite image (NOAA) of 27 September showing disturbed weather cells in the Caribbean including the seed for what today became Tropical Depression #14

Although relatively small, these disturbances caught my attention mainly because of their location and a surrounding favorable ocean-atmosphere environment in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the East Pacific waters off Central America. On that basis I tagged  this cells for further monitoring.

Satellite image (NOAA) of 5 October showing interacting disturbed weather systems on the east Pacific and the Caribbean causing a deluge of torrential rain over Nicaragua and other countries in the region

Sure enough, these disturbances in the Caribbean congealed into a large stormy weather cell just as a disturbance over the east Pacific also grew. The interaction of these systems generated heavy rains in Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, and eventually over an entire region from northern Colombia to southern Mexico.

In Nicaragua’s Pacific coast region it has rained daily for the last ten days. In Managua, the capital city, and other areas they have had up to 100 mm (4″) on rain per day for the past 3 – 4 days. Widespread flooding has taken place throughout the country. Civil Defense authorities issued a Red Alert for several municipalities. In some areas the ground was so saturated that water was coming into houses from the ground up through the floor. Reports of heavy damage and at least eight dead are evidence of a potential disaster in the making. Other countries in the region, especially El Salvador and western Honduras have suffered similar impacts.

The storm system off the coast of Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico

Collaterally with the deluge over Nicaragua and devastation over the entire region, the tropical disturbance in the Caribbean has continued to grow and get better organized as it  moved generally northward near the coast of Nicaragua, Honduras, and Belize.

Satellite image (NOAA) of 7 October, taken with water-vapor filter, showing Tropical depression # 14 in the northwestern Caribbean

Today, Sunday 7 October, this system if off the coast of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula, and has been classified as tropical depression #14 of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The storm is rather large, generating torrential rain over a wide region of the northwestern Caribbean, and it is showing strong cyclonic tendencies as it progresses toward the Gulf of Mexico where surface water are rather warm at around 30 Celsius.

Satellite image (NOAA) showing rather warm surface waters in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the path of TD #14

Given these aspects and the favorable environment around and ahead of the storm, it is highly probable it could become a tropical storm within the next 12 – 24 hours, and entirely possible that it may reach hurricane strength once in the Gulf.

Projected track for Tropical depression #14 as of 7 October 2018 (Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Naval Research Laboratory)

The storm’s current projected track, which takes into account numerous factors over a wide region that will influence it, has the storm starting to turn toward the northeast once it reaches the south-central Gulf. This means Florida is within the projected track and needs to monitor this system closely starting now, especially along the central-northern Gulf coast and the Panhandle.

While the priority now is Tropical Depression #14, we also need to monitor several tropical waves and stormy cells currently moving westward along ‘hurricane alley’ and to the north of Puerto Rico. as well as others over Equatorial Africa.

Satellite image (NOAA) of 7 October showing several tropical waves and potential ‘seeds’ for potential cyclonic activity

There is plenty of hurricane season still left in 2018 in the Atlantic basin and elsewhere. Hurricane SERGIO is forecast to turn northeastward toward the Baja California peninsula for a repeat impact on Northwestern Mexico and the Southwestern USA, which were hammered with wind and torrential rain from ROSA just a few days ago.

Remain alert. Be prepared. MITIGATE!

Tropical cyclone activity continues worldwide!

Tropical cyclone activity continues unabated in the northern hemisphere. More than sixty named-storms have been generated worldwide so far in 2018 in the northern  hemisphere, from the Atlantic, the Pacific (east, central, and northwest basins), to the Indian ocean.

Large and powerful super-typhoon TRAMI continues its approach toward Taiwan over the northwest Pacific

Currently super-typhoon TRAMI continues to move toward Taiwan, while other large tropical waves and disturbed weather cells are active over the Northwest Pacific.

Satellite image (NOAA) of 26 September 2018 showing Hurricane ROSA, the 18th named tropical cyclone to form in the east Pacific during this year’s season, which officially started on 15 May.

In the East Pacific basin hurricane ROSA, the 18th named storm of the 2018 season is active off the coast of Mexico. Other potentially cyclonic systems are on the move off the coast of Central America and Panama.

Satellite image (NOAA) of 26 September 2018 showing various storms systems over the Atlantic basin, including a regenerated KIRK, now a tropical storm, a degrading LESLIE, and other potentially cyclonic systems near the Carolinas’ coast and in ‘Hurricane Alley” and Equatorial Africa.

In the Atlantic, KIRK has regenerated into a tropical storm to the east of Barbados, while LESLIE now a tropical depression is approaching the region of the Azores Islands. Another disturbed weather system is off the coast of the Carolinas to the south of Cape Hatteras, which warrants monitoring. Other tropical waves extend from ‘Hurricane Alley’ to Equatorial Africa.

Following the Autumn equinox the Sun above is now to the south of the equator increasing the heat content of the world’s oceans. As a result, we are beginning to detect some potential for cyclonic development in the southern hemisphere. One such system is now being monitored near Australia’s northeast coast.

There is plenty of fuel for continued tropical cyclone generation worldwide this Wednesday 26 September 2018. Vulnerable communities everywhere will do well to remain alert. Be prepared! MITIGATE!