Yesterday in the heartland USA National Weather Service meteorologists reported having meassured the lowest atmospheric pressure of record not involving a tropical cyclone; a reading of 956 mb was recorded yesterday at 1129 EST in a sector of the storm front reaching from Alabama to Michigan that moved toward the east spawning tornadoes, rain and thunderstorms across a large region of the country.
This record drop in atmospheric pressure appears to be one more extreme eventof the several we have witnessed in recent years, which at least anecdotally appear to be on the increase. Empirical information points to extreme rain events throughout the country, while in other regions drought continues, also shorter but colder and more violent winters over the past few years, and more tropical cyclones reaching category 5 worldwide or undergoing rapid intensification on a yearly basis. While this is unscientific as a method for determining if extreme weather events have indeed been increasing, it merits our attention and closer study to see if these are indicators of things to come.
Also over the past couple of days just as we say hurricane-tropical storm-tropical depression Richard go over Belize, Guatemala and the Yucatan peninsula to eventually dissipate over the western Gulf of Mexico, we saw the strengthening of tropical cyclone Chaba into a category 3 typhoon as it aims for some of the most populated areas of Japan. And for the first time in several months during 2010 we see a tropical wave generating south of the equator, this one over the Indian ocean, which appears to be strengthening in route to becoming a tropical cyclone on the next day or two. From all of this we can conclude that the tropics continue to be active even as such activity may be shifting from the northern to the southern hemisphere.
Shifting our attention back to the larger Atlantic basin on 27 October 2010 we see three waves of disturbed weather, with some potential for tropical cyclone development, which are active over several areas of the Atlantic including one off the coast of northern Brazil almost straddling the equator.
Looking toward the east we see a continuous chain of tropical waves and areas of rain/thunderstorms reaching from the eastern Pacific just off the coast of Nicaragua all the way through Hurricane Alley, the eastern Atlantic and across equatorial Africa. While most of these cells of disturbed weather are larger than those seen just last week, they also appear to be growing closer to and even beginning to straddle the equator as the shift in seasons marked by the autumn equinox just about five weeks ago is bringing more on the southern hemisphere under more sun light as time progresses toward the winter solstice and the end of 2010. Are these various tropical waves and cells of disturbed weather over the Atlantic signs of what we may expect from a waning 2010 Atlantic hurricane season? Or just some last flashes of tropical activity that may pose no threat to our interests here in Florida and other Gulf or Atlantic USA coastal regions? Only time will tell, meanwhile we’ll do good to monitor these systems closely, to pay attention! To be prepared!! To MITIGATE!!!