Tag Archives: 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season

2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season: 120 days to go!

Composite satellite water vapor image creating a mosaic from the Indian Ocean to the East Pacific on 30 July 2011

The first 60 days of the Atlantic Hurricane season are coming to an end. On 30 July 2011 there are plenty of signs  of potential cyclonic activity throughout the northern hemisphere tropics. On the satellite image above we can clearly see a large tropical wave in the Caribbean off the Nicaragua-Honduras border, also one large tropical wave that is showing signs of organization and further strengthening to the east of the Lesser Antilles in ‘Hurricane Alley’ followed by another tropical wave to the east.

Color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite image on 30 July 2011 showing a Caribbean tropical wave near Cape 'Gracias a Dios' on the Nicaragua-Honduras border, and a large tropical wave in 'Hurricane Alley" about 1000 kilometers to the east of the Lesser Antilles, which is showing signs of potential cyclone development in the next 24-48 hours.

Farther to the east over the eastern Atlantic and equatorial Africa we see the ‘Tropical-wave assembly line’ has gotten much better organized over the past couple of weeks and it is now showing regularly spaced pulses of tropical weather activity that will become tropical waves feeding into ‘Hurricane Alley’.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of the eastern Atlantic and western equatorial Africa on 30 July 2011

These satellite images gives us evidence that appear to indicate the northern tropics are finally organizing into a pattern of activity that is typical of the historically most active months, August-September and October, of the Atlantic hurricane season. On this day, for the first time in a while, we also see the ‘belt of tropical activity’ is once again girdling the Earth just north of the equator. This is shown in the satellite image below:

Composite full-disk satellite image of Earth's western hemisphere on 30 July 2011 showing the 'belt of tropical activity' circling the planet to the northof the equator

Other satellite imagery on 30 July 2011 shows equally active basins throughout the northern tropics, such as in the eastern and western Pacific and in the northern Indian Ocean, as seen below:

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image showing typhoon MUIFA in the western Pacific and other tropical activity in that region on 30 July 2011
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image showing tropical activity in the northern Indian Ocean on 30 July 2011

The Peak of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The month of September 2010 is not over yet and it is already one for the record books in terms of tropical cyclone activity. We have seen plenty of activity throughout the larger basin, in the tropical North Atlantic, in the Caribbean and in the Gulf. Tropical cyclone activity this September has offered a wide variety of storms, from major hurricanes, to a hurricane that made it all the way to Greenland, to a tropical storm that actually spawned its own “clone” (Matthew), to storms that decayed and almost dissipated only to be reactivated again (Julia, Lisa).

Color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite view of Tropical Depression #16 ("Matthew the Clone") identified by the solid yellow outline as it mover in the northwestern Caribbean toward Southeast Florida and point beyond. Dotted yellow outlines identify other areas of disturbed weather and tropical waves that are active in the neighborhood of TD #16 and the western end of 'Hurricane Alley" approaching the Lesser Antilles.
Projected track for Tropical Depression #16 on 28 September 2010 developed by the Navy Rsearch Laboratory based on data from NOAA's National Hurricane Center.

  As this post is being written “Matthew the Sequel” has become tropical depression #16 and it is moving north-by northeast toward South Florida and coastal regions beyond, in the Carolinas and up the eastern seaboard.

Mosaic of composite satellite views on 28 September 2010 showing tropical cyclone activity and potential seeds for additional tropical cyclpne generation over the eastern Atlantic, equatorial Africa and the Indian Ocean. It would appear there is plenty of 'fuel' in the tropics to keep tropical cyclone activity in the larger Atlantic basin active over the next few weeks.

Looking east we see that ‘Hurricane Alley’ is already populated by a few tropical waves, some of which are looking rather threatening, and farter east over equatorial Africa and beyond over the Indian Ocean, numerous tropical waves of all shape and sizes continue marching westward to ride the ‘Tropical Wave Assembly Line” in Africa, which eventually may emerge over the eastern Atlantic and head in the general direction of the Caribbean, Gulf and USA Atlantic coastal regions.

Full disk view of Earth's western hemisphere showing a portion of the tropical activity belt, which has been around the Earth for most of this 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

  The question is: have we hit the peak of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season or are we in for another burst of activity in October similar to what we have seen in September? Only time will tell what will have transpired in what remains of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, but for now we must concentrate in monitoring all these waves as they appear over the horizon, while being prepared. As we have said throughout this season, Pay Attention! Be prepared!! MITIGATE!!