Mother Nature is reminding us that hurricanes seasons of 2010 are still ‘alive and well’ throughout various ocean basins that are focuses of cyclogenesis worldwide, as can be seen on a “mapa mundi” view of Earth on 22 October 2010, which shows two major hurricanes, a tropical storm, two tropical depressions and one tropical wave in action.
Also today 22 October 2010 Cyclone GIRI, has made landfall in Burma, in the region of Akyab, Myeboa and Kyaukpyu, as a category 4 tropical cyclone. This storm formed in the Indian Ocean and within one day grew to category 5 strength as it moved toward the northeast through the Bay of Bengal. The cyclone lost some strength, but remained a category 4 storm through landfall. Giri brought heavy rains to a large coastal region in Burma, from Bangladesh to Rangoon, and s Thailand. It is possible that the combination of storm surge and heavy rain may have caused considerable coastal flooding and damage.
Going east from the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, some 1600 miles to the western Pacific and the South China Sea there is Typhoon MEGI, which formed on 13 October over the western Pacific reaching category 5 strength by 16 October before making landfall in Luzon, the Philippines.
MEGI emerged over the South China Sea after crossing overland in the Philippines, and regained strength as it moved first to the west by southwest and then recurbing toward the west, northwest and eventually north over the past couple of days. MEGI is the 13th named tropical cyclone in the western Pacific basin, which has been quite cative and stormy for most of the year, and it is being trailed by tropical depressions #16 and #17 mowing westward toward the Philippines. Check Megi and its trailing storms out by going to the following link: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/mtsat/nwpac/loop-wv.html
MEGI has weakened somewhat as it moves slowly, at 7 mph, and it has become a much smaller system over the past 24 hours as it approaches mainland China with sustained 110 mph winds while also generating plenty of rain over a wide region.
The track that MEGI has followed since emerging over the South China Sea has varied considerably in direction and it has also had noticeable wobble, which has made it difficult to predict.
Closer to our neck-of-the-woods, in the Caribbean, we have an almost stationary Tropical Storm RICHARD nearing the Cabo Gracias a Dios region near the Nicaragua-Honduras border where at least two other tropical cyclones have been generated over the past few weeks.
This storm has followed a track that is in the process of completing a full circle before aiming toward the west by northwest in the general direction of Belize and Quintana Roo in Mexico. Because of its current stationary condition and proximity to the landmass of Central America it has been difficult to predict future movement.
The consensus of the models have Richard completing a full circle to then aim toward the west/northwest in the general direction of Belize and Quintana Roo, Mexico. Because of how much the storm has come south, the coastal regions of Honduras and Guatemala should monitor this storm’s progress closely over the next 24 – 48 hours. Conditions appear favorable for further strengthneing from its current sustained winds of 40 mph, perhaps even reaching hurricane strength in the next day or so. Although Richard is small storm and it is confronting a mass of high pressure and dry air to the north and northwest it has begun to draw moisture from the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific off Central America, feeding areas of heavy rains and thunderstorms. As atmospheric conditions continue to change ahead of the system it is possible that it may have the capability for generating vast amounts of rain over regions of Central America, Belize and the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, as well as over Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba to the east in days to come. You can see Tropical Storm Richard interacting with dry air ahead of it by clicking on the following links: http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/loop-wv.html, http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/loop-wv.html
While this activity takes place in the Caribbean there are two tropical waves riding along Hurricane Alley in the eastern Atlantic, which warrant close monitoring as they move west and approach the Lesser Antilles and the Caribbean in the next day or so.