Tag Archives: Central Atlantic

The Caribbean and Eastern East Pacific Flare-up on 5 June 2011!

On the fifth day of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season the region of disturbed weather that has lingered for the past few weeks at the junction of Panama and South America appears to be expanding into the Caribbean and the eastern east Pacific. The GOES satellite image [courtesy of NASA] for the aviation industry taken on 5 June 2011, shown below, illustrates:

satellite image for the aviaion industry on 5 June 2011 at 14:45 DST.”]There are two strong and distinct cells of disturbed weather in the Caribbean, just east of Jamaica centered on an area of low pressure, and in the eastern east Pacific off the coast of Central America and Mexico, which can be seen on the color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite image [courtesy of NASA] on 5 June 2011 shown below:

GOES color-enhanced infrared image on 5 June 2011

The solid yellow outlines on the image above identify the two areas of low pressure that have generated cells of disturbed weather, thunderstorms and heavy rain over the Caribbean and the eastern east Pacific. The Caribbean cell is moving northwest by north and is already causing heavy rains over Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and portions of Cuba. Both these cells are being monitoredby the National Hurricane Center and NOAA’s Tropical Prediction Center for potential further development over the next 24-48 hours. Although the eastern east Pacific cell is  moving away from the continental landmass, the combination of both cells has generated some rain over the Yucatan peninsula, especially Quintana Roo state in Mexico, which have been under drought conditions for some time now. These rains are a welcome development in Quintana Roo where wild fires have affected several areas in the state. The potential for rain nay be as high as 51 mm over the next few hours, as it is illustrated by the regional map shown below:

Satellite view on 5 June 2011 showing potential precipitation over the Caribbean region

In the mean time the area of low pressure and associated storm cell over the eastern east Pacific appears to be getting better organized as it flows over an area of rather warm surface water [30+ Celsius]. Other cells of disturbed weather off the coast  of Nicaragua, and further south near Panama and Colombia and over the northern regions of Colombia and Venezuela appear to be linking with large cells of disturbed weather moving westward over hurricane alley an it is shown on the satellite image below:

GOES satellite image for the aviation industry of the eastern east Pacific region on 5 JUne 2011

While the Caribbean and eastern east Pacific are flaring-up on 5 June 2011, the central Atlantic and especially the far eastern Atlantic are also being affected by large regions of disturbed weather, which are generating rain and thunderstorms. As was expected with the nearing advent of the summer solstice, the tropical wave assembly line over equatorial Africa has become quite active feeding pulse after pulse of tropical activity to hurricane alleyThese tropical waves have the potential for contributing to cyclogenesis [generation of tropical cyclones] as they ride along hurricane alley toward the Caribbean and the central Atlantic. Currently several tropical waves are moving westward along hurricane alley while others form a train of tropical pulses over equatorial Africa as shown on the satellite image below:

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of the eastern Atlantic on 5 June 2011

An overall picture of all of the conditions described above can be gained from the full-disk composite satellite image of Earth’s western hemisphere on 5 June 2011, which follows:

Full-disk satellite view of Earth's western hemisphere on 5 June 2011

The Tropics are Growing Restless!

Take a look a the central Atlantic ocean north of the equator, just to the southeast of Bermuda, and today 20 April 2011 you will see a huge area of storms moving in the general direction of mainland USA!!

for the aviation industry on 20 April 2011″]
The GOES [Geostationary]  satellite  over the eastern USA captured an image of a rather large region of disturbed weather covering some 2.5 million square kilometers over the central Atlantic ocean just southeast of Bermuda and northeast of the Virgin Islands.  With so much extreme weather activity causing tornado and flood damage in several states over the past couple of days and capturing our collective attention, it’s been easy to forget that with the advent of spring the waters north of the equator have warmed considerably over the past 30 – 60 days, and  we are seeing more and more signs that the tropics are growing restless as we the “official” start of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season is less that six weeks away.
Color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite image [NOAA] on 20 April 2011 showing what could well be the first ‘salvo’ of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season.Satellite imagery, such as the color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite photo taken earlier this afternoon of 20 April 2011, clearly show a region of low pressure over the central north Atlantic  where rain and storm activity are being generated over a large area while the system moves in a generally westward direction.  This satellite image also shows the areas of extreme weather that have been attacking large regions of the USA, causing death and damage over the last couple of days. Also shown are areas of storm activity over northern South America, Panama and Central America. These are all signs that as surface waters and the atmosphere to the north of the equator continue to warm up  as spring takes hold of the northern hemisphere, tropical cyclogenesis can not be too far off even if the start of the “official” 2011 Atlantic hurricane season is 5-/12 weeks away. Other signs of impending tropical cyclonic activity and potential contributos to the same can be seen on other satellite images such as the ones that follow:
Full Earth disk composite satellite image of the western hemisphere on 20 April 2011. The full Earth’s disk satellite image [NASA] on the left show once again the “belt” of tropical activity girdling the Earth around the equator as it slowly migrates northward. On the eastern [far right] extreme of the “belt” there are alreday signs of tropical waves emerging from over equatorial Africa over the eastern Atlantic to the south of the Cape Verde islands. So, here we see the outline of what is generally known as “hurricane alley”, lots of tropical activity near the equator, “pulses” of tropical waves moving westward over equatorial Africa toward the eastern Atlantic, and to top it all off, a large region of low pressure and disturbed weather in the middle of the Atlantic. It is clear the tropics are growing restless and tropical cyclones can not be too far off. Not seen here, but shown in additional images below, are the increasingly warmer waters of the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf and eastern Pacific, and the lingering La Nina [ENSO] off the coast of Peru, which are all potential contributign factors to cyclogenesis in the Atlantic in 2011.Map of sea surface temperatures on 19 April 2011.
This satellite-based [NOAA] temperature map of sea surface waters on 19 April 2011, already shows surface waters at or above 30 Celsius along “hurricane alley”, parts of the Caribbean and the Gulf and also off Central America and Mexico in the eastern Pacific. Also shown are the much cooler waters of the coast of Peru indicating the lingering effects of the La Nina event that was active in 2010.
Soon, during the National Hurricane Conference and the soon to follow Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference both NOAA National Hurricane Center and the folks at Colorado State University will issue their predictions for tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic basin for 2011 and then Mother Nature will do what it pleases and humankind will be divided into suffering bystanders or active participants who manage their risk and mitigate the impacts of hurricanes in their own communities.
For starters there is that large glub of disturbed weather over the central north Atlantic, which may develop further or just blow over, but which nevertheless warrants close monitoring. Then we already have the ‘belt’ of tropical activity circling the globe around the equator, the initial waves of storms coming over equatorial Africa toward the eastern Atlantic and “hurricane alley”, increasingly warmer surface waters in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf and eastern Atlantic, and weakened but still lingering La Nina event off the coast of Peru. So many of the potential triggers or contributors to cyclogenesis in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific basins are already in place or being assembled. Let us see what Mother Nature has in store for us. Let us pay attention. Be prepared! MITIGATE!!