Who needs hurricanes and tropical storms when we are having a daily dosage of foul weather, with plenty of rain, lightning and thunderstorms, in South Florida? But do not get used to this daily routine and forget this is still the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.
Speaking of which, there in the midst of ‘hurricane alley’ there is Tropical Depression TWO moving toward the Windward Islands, while a train of disturbed weather and a couple of tropical waves over Equatorial Africa trail right behind it. So, there is some potential cyclonic activity in our basin. All interests from Barbados to the Virgin Islands should monitor this system closely over the next couple of days as it continues to track generally westward.
On the opposite side of the world, over the far northwestern Pacific, in a region that has already seen several tropical cyclones, including a recent Super-typhoon, there is Typhoon MATMO a large. but not too strong of a system now menacing the northern Philippines, Taiwan and even China and the Korean Peninsula.
Still over the Pacific but farther to the east, all the way to the coast of Mexico and Central America, there is a rather long aggregation of tropical waves and disturbed weather cells reaching all the way to the Philippines Sea and the western Pacific where there two large systems showing some potential for further, even cyclonic development over the next day or so.
Over in the Indian Ocean, it is the northern and northeastern regions of the basin that are displaying rather large areas of stormy weather. This display of stormy weather is seen clearly in satellite images taken with an infrared filter.
In summary, there is enough cyclonic, potentially cyclonic, and just plain stormy and foul weather in the northern tropics around the world, to remind everyone that this is the time of the year when we must remain alert, be prepared and continue to mitigate!
The large tropical wave we have been following as it grew more organized, stronger and bigger over the past couple of days off the coast of South America (Guyana, French Guiana) has morphed into Tropical Storm TOMAS the 19th named tropical cyclone of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Tropical Storm TOMAS is a large – approximately 700 miles in diameter – tropical cyclone that is drawing large amounts of atmospheric moisture from as far back as the eastern Atlantic and from the eastern Caribbean. This storm could grow even larger as it enters the warm waters of the Caribbean and feeds off the moisture lingering over Central America and the eastern Pacific. The storm may become a hurricane in the next 24 – 48 hours as it enters a more favorable environment and gets farther away from the landmass of South America. Given the warm waters of the Caribbean, the amount of atmospheric moisture over Central America and the eastern Pacific in that region, plus the absence of any significant wind shear it is possible that Tomas may grow into a strong category 2 or even a major hurricane early this coming week.
All interests in the Caribbean basin including Panama, Central America, the Antilles, and the Yucatan Peninsula need to monitor the progress of this tropical cyclone closely in days to come, for it not only is quite large, but it may grow into a major hurricane if conditions remain favorable for further cyclonic development. Florida and the Bahamas also need to be alert especially as the storm gets closer toward the end of next week.
Tropical Storm TOMAS intensifying: 29 October 2300 EST
Satellite pictures show Tropical Storm TOMAS has gotten much better organized and stronger over the past few hours. Reconoissance flights and satellite data show the eye has reformed a bit to the north of its original location and convection has intensified around all quadrants, but especially to the west of the eye were quite intense rain is taking place tonight. As of 2200 EST maximum sustained winds were at 65 mph (104 kph) and movements continued to be WNW at 16 mph (26 kph).
Conditions ahead, in the Caribbean, appear favorable for further intensification with some models forecasting a potential category 3 tropical cyclone in 72-96 hours. Caribbean surface waters are a bit warmer than those in Hurricane Alley, which added to rain and storm cells near Panama ahead of Tomas’ track provide ‘fuel’ sources for an intensifying storm.
The Lesser Antilles will bear the brunt of the storm over the next 12- 24 hours. Other Caribbean basin nations, including Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba need to brace for impact in the next 36 – 72 hours. Belize, the Yucatan Peninsula, Grand Cayman should feel the effects 96 – 120 hours from now and beyond.
The five-day track shown on the graphic is based on the consensus of the several models the National Hurricane Center uses and other factors integrated into the official forecast