Tag Archives: Atlantic Ocean

Is the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Here Already?

GOES satellite image of 18 June 2017 in the early evening (Florida time) showing two strong storm cells in the western Caribbean and southwestern north Atlantic, which are already showing potential for tropical cyclone development. (Courtesy of NOAA)

From my vantage point of southeast Florida I can see a rather large storm cell in the northwestern Caribbean, off the coast of Quintana Roo state in Mexico, covering more than four million square kilometers and already causing heavy rains throughout Central America. the Caribbean and major Antilles and even most of Florida, which is also showing some potential cyclonic tendencies. I also see another strong and large tropical wave close to the western terminus of ‘Hurricane Alley’ approaching the minor Antilles, which also shows potential for tropical cyclone development.

Does this mean the “official” 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is about to get underway? Some would argue that the season already got an early start when Tropical Storm ARLENE formed in the Atlantic basin around mid-April 2017. But since the officially human designated start date for the 2017 Atlantic season is June 1, I would argue that the “official” start of the season is still ahead of us.

GOES EAST satellite image (NOAA) of 18 June 2017 in the evening over the Caribbean, showing the rather large storm cell off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, which is generating heavy rains from the eastern east Pacific sub-basin to Jamaica and Hispaniola and over most of Florida, and it is also showing above average potential for tropical cyclone development as it moves northwestward toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Looking at the Caribbean and Hurricane Alley approaching the Windward Islands, the gateway to the Caribbean, there are two large, rather strong and menacing storm cells. which appear to be ready to mark the “official” start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season.

The storm in the northwestern Caribbean off the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, is moving mainly northwest toward the Gulf of Mexico. It appears this storm will cross over the Yucatan to then emerge over the southwestern Gulf with above average potential for tropical cyclone development. This is a rather large system close to 2,000 kilometers in diameter that is generating vast amounts of rain from Panama to Florida and the eastern east Pacific to Jamaica and Hispaniola. This system is being monitored by the National Hurricane Center and it warrant attention from all interests i Mexico, the Antilles, Florida and all states around the Gulf of Mexico in the next 2 -3 days.

The storm at the western end of ;Hurricane Alley’ approaching the Windward Island and eastern Caribbean is the one that has most of my attention. This storm is moving west and based on its peak sustained winds it may have already reached tropical storm intensity. A close analysis of satellite imagery including wind is showing spiral bands converging toward a center of low pressure, an indication of strong cyclonic tendencies. I recommend all interests in the Caribbean, Gulf and Florida region need to monitor this system closely over the next 2 to 3 days.

The official 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season may be about to start. This is the time to 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!