Category Archives: Tropical Storm

Danielle is Out Number Nine is In!

The northern hemisphere tropics continue to run in hyper-drive, especially in the Atlantic, the northwestern Pacific and to a lesser degree the eastern Pacific of the coast of Mexico and Central America.

On 1 September in the Atlantic there is Hurricane EARL, a large and category 3 storm, which as of 18:00 EST was to the east of the Bahamas moving toward the northwest at 16 mph in the general direction of Cape Hatteras in the Carolinas. Based on its current track Hurricane Earl is projected to come rather close to the North Carolina coastline to then continue moving roughly paralleling the USA Atlantic northeastern coastline as it re-curbs toward the north and then the northeast.

Satellite view of Hurricane EARL on 1 September 2010 at 15:45 EST under visible light, The system is more than 600 miles in diameter and at the time this photo was taken if packed sustained winds of 125 mph as it moved toward the northwest in the general direction of the USA mid-Atlantic coastline.
Projected five-day track for Hurricane Earl developed by the Navy Research Laboratory.


Following Earl there is Tropical Storm FIONA also to the east of the Bahamas moving northwest with sustained 60 mph winds and showing signs of strengthening. Should Fiona stay within its projected track it will re-curb toward the north to move in the general direction of Bermuda.

Visible light satellite view of Tropical Storm FIONA on 1 September 2010 at 15:45 EST as in interacted with the northermost Leeward Islands and the Virgin Islands.
Navy Research Laboratory five-day track for Tropical Storm FIONA showing the storm's position on 1 September 2010 as of 18:00 EST.


While the remnants of what once was powerful Hurricane Danielle continue to dissipate in the north Atlantic close to the Azores, tropical depression #9 has generated in ‘hurricane alley’ in the Atlantic. “Number Nine is showing signs of strengthening and it may become a tropical storm at any time as it moves westward toward the Lesser Antilles, in an environment that appears favorable for further development.

Farther east yet another tropical wave emerges from equatorial Africa over the Atlantic south of the Cape Verde islands, while several other waves of disturbed tropical weather are active over the ‘tropical wave assembly line’ and farther east in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.

Global Mosaic, a composite of several satellite views on 1 September 2010, showing the Atlantic basin, equatorial Africa and the Indian Ocean. Hurricane earl, Tropical Storm Fiona and Tropical Depression #9 are all identified, as well as several tropical waves over the eastern Atlantic, equatorial Africa and farther east.

It appears September might live up to its historical position as the most active month of the Atlantic hurricane season, for the moment at least the signs are there to forecast continued tropical activity over the next few days.

Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Kompasu, Lionrock, Namtheun etc

Two hurricanes, one of them a category 4, four tropical storms and at least six tropical waves are currently active in the northern tropics fulfilling our earlier assessment that the ‘tropics are hot’ and things are happening quite fast in the tropics. It would appear the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season has suddenly entered a whole higher level of activity after a slow start. Based on the systems currently active and what already appears in the horizon looking east from the Atlantic over equatorial Africa and the Indian ocean, it appears September is gearing up for a new level of tropical cyclone activity.

Color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite view showing Tropical Storm Gabrielle to the soueast of Newfounland, category 4 Hurricane Earl just north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Tropical Storm Fiona aiming for the Leeward Islands, and over to the far right a tropical wave riding along hurricane alley.Color-enhanced infrared satellite view of the eastern Atlantic and equatorial Africa showing at least five tropical waves moving westward toward hurricane alley on 30 August 2010.

 A wider view shows additional tropical activity extending into the Indian Ocean as far back as Indonesia and over into the western Pacific where Typhoon KOMPASU is a category 2 tropical cyclone over the southwestern Ryukyu Islands of Japan, and tropical storms LIONROCK and NAMTHEUN are respectively south of the Ryukyu islands near Taiwan and southwest of Taiwan moving for landfall in mainland China. The composite Global Mosaic below shows a good part of such tropical cyclone activity over the Atlantic, Equatorial Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Global Mosaic, a composite of several satellite pictures, shows tropical cyclone activity and tropical waves over the Atlantic, equatorial Africa and the Indian Ocean. There is plenty of 'tropical fuel' to feed the 'tropical wave assembly line' over equatorial Africa and 'hurricane alley' in the tropical north Atlantic for at least the next two weeks.

The ‘belt’ of tropical weather circling the Earth just north of the equator appears to be firmly in place and fueled by enough activity to last for several days into September. It is interesting to note that two of the currently active systems, Danielle and Earl have both reached category 4 strength, Hurricane Earl went from category 1 to 4 in the span of one day, and Tropical Storm Fiona went from a tropical wave to tropical storm strength in one continuous spur of activity earlier today 30 August 2010. It is clear that conditions overland in tropical equatorial Africa and in the coupled ocean-atmosphere Atlantic environment continue to be favorable for tropical cyclone development and rapid strengthening of new storms.  

Full disk satellite view of Earth's western hemisphere, on 30 August 2010, showing the belt of tropical weather activity just north of the equator that has been in place for several weeks now.