Tag Archives: 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season

6 0ctober 2016: IN THE CROSS-HAIRS OF MATTHEW!

It appeared as a large storm cell over Equatorial Africa nineteen days ago, when tropical cyclones KARL and LISA were moving in the Atlantic, moving westward to emerge as one more tropical wave over the eastern Atlantic. As this tropical wave rode along ‘hurricane alley’ toward the Windward Islands our attention focused mainly on KARL and LISA.

And then, THERE IT WAS! Tropical Storm MATTHEW was active over the southeastern Caribbean near the Venezuelan coast moving rather slowly westward.

Infrared satellite image of major Hurricane MATTHEW over the Bahamas at 6:30 A.M. this morning of Thursday 6 October
Infrared satellite image of major Hurricane MATTHEW over the Bahamas at 6:30 A.M. this morning of Thursday 6 October

And now, this morning of Thursday 6 October at 6:30 A.M. MAJOR HURRICANE MATTHEW was located 350 kilometers (228 miles) from Miami over The Bahamas, strengthening yet again and getting better organized as it moved in the general direction of Southeast Florida at 18 kph (~11.5 mph).

Map showing probability of tropical storm force winds, from MATTHEW and NICOLE, affecting various areas over the next five days
Map showing probability of tropical storm force winds, from MATTHEW and NICOLE, affecting various areas over the next five days

This is truly a dangerous hurricane, which has already caused death and destruction and plenty of damage in several countries in its path including, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas. Florida is now in MATTHEW’s sights, as well as other Atlantic states beyond.

Is MATTHEW THE BIG ONE we have speculated about for quite some time now? After eleven years here in Florida without being hit by a hurricane, perhaps suffering from ‘hurricane amnesia’, let’s trust that thanks to the great work of the National Hurricane Center, the on-camera TV meteorologist, and emergency management officials, the message has been heeded and we are prepared for the impending punch from MATTHEW!

Projected track for a strengthening Tropical Storm NICOLE as of 6 October 2016 at 0200. Notice the storm will become almost stationary as it interacts with MATTHEW and other atmospheric features in coming days
Projected track for a strengthening Tropical Storm NICOLE as of 6 October 2016 at 0200. Notice the storm will become almost stationary as it interacts with MATTHEW and other atmospheric features in coming days

While we focus on MATTHEW and brace for impact here in paradise, we must remain aware of Tropical Storm NICOLE looming in the Atlantic east by northeast of Matthew, and also tropical wave 99L approaching the Windward Islands chased by a large glub of disturbed weather riding ‘hurricane alley’ to the east.

Infrared GOES EAST satellite image of 6 October 2016 at 0500 showing major hurricane MATTHEW, Tropical Storm NICOLE, and other potential cyclonic threats in the north Atlantic basin.
Infrared GOES EAST satellite image of 6 October 2016 at 0500 showing major hurricane MATTHEW, Tropical Storm NICOLE, and other potential cyclonic threats in the north Atlantic basin.

So, in addition to MATTHEW’s impending threat, there are other hazards nearby and plenty of fuel for potential tropical cyclone generation in the not so distant horizon over the eastern Atlantic.

Let us keep in mind that there is still plenty of ‘official’ hurricane season left in the Atlantic in 2016. We must pay attention continuing to monitor all of these potential threats. Remain alert. Be prepared. MITIGATE!

14 September 2016: There is a trio in the Atlantic!

Yesterday morning residents of Southeast Florida woke-up to find a dark sky and a wall of storm clouds covering the eastern horizon, rather than  the bright orange, red and yellows signaling the sunrise in paradise.  Satellite images revealed this bleak panorama was the view along the full length of Florida’s east coast as one of the tropical waves we’ve been monitoring over the weekend had crept close to shore, and appeared to be strengthening and getting better organized  as the day progressed.

Projected track for Tropical Storm JULIA as on 14 September 2016
Projected track for Tropical Storm JULIA as on 14 September 2016

This tropical wave actually moved inland near  Daytona generating copious rain over central and northern Florida, and all over offshore waters all the way into Georgia and the Carolinas. Gusty winds, rain and thunderstorms were the norm for most of northeastern Florida by nightfall yesterday. Further observations and additional data continue to show the potential for cyclonic development, suggesting Tropical Storm JULIA was about to develop around 10:00 P.M. last night. Sure enough, the 11:00 P.M. advisory from the National Hurricane Center confirmed Tropical Storm Julia was active over northeastern Florida.

Satellite image of 14 September 2016 showing tropical storm JULIA, in visible light, nearing Savannah, Georgia, while it generated copious rain over a large region and offshore waters.
Satellite image of 14 September 2016 showing tropical storm JULIA, in visible light, nearing Savannah, Georgia, while it generated copious rain over a large region and offshore waters.

This morning, 14 September 2016, we have a trio of storms active over the north Atlantic basin. Tropical storm JULIA, the tenth-named tropical cyclone of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season, moving inland toward Savannah, Georgia, joins Tropical Storm IAN now tracking NE over the central Atlantic.

GOES EAST infrared satellite image of 14 September 2016 showing tropical storms IAN and JULIA, and a strong tropical wave over the Cape Verde Islands, which maysoon  become the newest tropical cyclone of the season
GOES EAST infrared satellite image of 14 September 2016 showing tropical storms IAN and JULIA, and a strong tropical wave over the Cape Verde Islands, which maysoon become the newest tropical cyclone of the season

Farther to the south and east a large tropical wave over the Cape Verde Islands appears to be growing stronger and better organized, showing clear cyclonic tendencies, while it is being investigated by the National Hurricane Center for possible further development. Analysis of recent satellite imagery suggest we may already have a tropical depression over the Cape Verdes, the ‘seed’ for yet another tropical cyclone in the Atlantic basin. All interests around the basin need to monitor this one closely, as well as tropical waves over Equatorial Africa as we have already entered what historically is the peak of the annual Atlantic hurricane season.

Elsewhere, a compact hurricane ORLENE is moving away from Mexico toward the Central Pacific. Farther west, Super-typhoon MERANTI is approaching landfall in China, a strengthening typhoon MALAKAS is near the Philippines making a turn to the NW that will bring it near Taiwan, while several strong and potentially cyclonic tropical waves populate the waters between the Central Pacific and the Philippines Sea. There is plenty of fuel for potential tropical cyclone development in that region over the next few days.

While the northern hemisphere tropics boil with activity,we must all remain alert. Be prepared. MITIGATE!