Tropical storm IGOR already had the nice spiral shape of a tropical cyclone as it rode along Hurricane Alley on the verge of becoming a hurricane on 11 September 2010 at 0947 EST, packing 70 mph sustained winds while mowing toward the west at a fast 21 mph some 2500 miles away from South Florida, still too far away from the USA coastline to predict where, and if, it might make it all the way here for landfall or if it will veer off into the open waters of the Atlantic. This current uncertainty is one more reason for all USA coastal Atlantic communities to remain vigilant and closely monitor Igor’s progress in coming days.
Some 1200 miles to the west of Igor in the northeastern Caribbean to the south of Puerto Rico is a large tropical wave that has been getting better organized and stronger, both signs of potential tropical cyclone development, as it moves westward. This system has generated large amounts of rain over Puerto Rico and it may pose the same risk for Hispaniola, where the interaction with higher mountain ranges in Dominican Republic and Haiti raises the possibility of potential flash floods and damage, a daunting prospect especially in earthquake devastated Haiti where large numbers remain homeless.
As mid-September approaches so does the historical peak of the annual Atlantic hurricane season, which is taking place with a strong tropical wave just off the coast of equatorial Africa to the SE of the Cape Verde Islands starting its journey toward Hurricane Alley. Other tropical waves follow behind over the ‘assembly line’ in the African continent while around the globe we continue to see the “belt” of tropical activity circling the Earth just above the equator; at the same time we continue to see plenty of tropical cyclone activity in the far western Pacific affecting the Philippines- Korea – Vietnam triangle, such activity spills over most of Indonesia and into the Indian Ocean, which is a region that often originates the seeds for tropical waves that move westward over Africa and eventually emerge over the warm waters of the eastern Atlantic completing a full circle. In summary, there appears to be plenty of ‘fuel’ for tropical cyclone generation in the Atlantic as well as the Pacific when we still have more than ten weeks left in the “official” 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.
August and so far September as well have generated plenty of tropical cyclone activity worldwide. Both the Atlantic and Western Pacific have been particularly active basins.
Currently on the larger Atlantic basin we have former tropical storm HERMINE, now a tropical depression, over central Texas to the NW of Austin on a track toward Abilene and Wichita Falls generating copious rain for the last couple of days, which have caused flash floods and plenty of problems over a wide swath of Lone Star State.
In the Caribbean just south off the coast of Hispaniola the remnants of GASTON appear to be regrouping as the system moves westward while generating large amounts of rain over both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Far behind, some 2000 miles, in Hurricane Alley there is a large tropical wave to the SW of the Cape Verde Islands moving westward. Other minor tropical waves are over equatorial Africa also moving westward along the always busy ‘assembly line’.
Over in the western Pacific there is Tropical Storm ELEVEN just SW of Taiwan moving toward mainland China and to the north weakening tropical storm MALOU is over central Japan to the north of Kyoto and west of Tokyo tracking toward the northeast. There is a triangular region from just east of the Philipinnes to northern Vietnam and the Korean peninsula that has seen constant tropical cyclone activity over the past several weeks.