Tag Archives: East Pacific Hurricane Season

2014 East Pacific Hurricane Season: 20 and counting!

Water-vapor satellite image [NOAA] of 30 October 2014 showing Tropical storm VANCE off the Pacific coast of Mexico and other disturbed weather near Central America and Panama
Water-vapor satellite image [NOAA] of 30 October 2014 showing Tropical storm VANCE off the Pacific coast of Mexico and other disturbed weather near Central America and Panama

The eastern Pacific off the coast of Mexico and Central America continues generating tropical  cyclones in what may become a season for the record books.

Visible-light satellite image [NASA] of 30 October 2014 showing Tropical storm VANCE as it moves pff the Pacific coast of centarl Mexico
Visible-light satellite image [NASA] of 30 October 2014 showing Tropical storm VANCE as it moves off the Pacific coast of central Mexico

Just today, Thursday 30 October 2014, tropical depression #21 reached tropical storm strength and took the name of VANCE. This storm is moving generally northwest into a favorable environment off the Pacific coast of Mexico where it is forecast to become a hurricane in the next couple of days or so. Meanwhile the eastern range of the sub-basin all the way to the  Gulf of Panama is populated by an aggregation of disturbed weather cells feeding into the region of the East Pacific ocean where we have seen twenty named storms so far this year.

Projected track for Tropical storm VANCE [courtesy of U.S. Navy Research Laboratory] as of 30 October 2014
Projected track for Tropical storm VANCE [courtesy of U.S. Navy Research Laboratory] as of 30 October 2014

On the other side of the landmass, over the Atlantic basin we have only had eight named storms in what so far has been a below-average 2014 hurricane season, the last one being tropical storm HANNAH, which made landfall in Nicaragua a few days ago.

Bermuda braces – Hawaii ducks – Mexico waits

Satellite view (NASA) of major hurricane GONZALO as it approaches Bermuda in the late night of 16 October 2014. Notice the comparative sizes of the hurricane and the island.
Satellite view (NASA) of major hurricane GONZALO as it approaches Bermuda in the late night of 16 October 2014. Notice the comparative sizes of the hurricane and the island.

This morning of Friday 17 October 2014 the island nation of Bermuda, a veritable speck of land in the middle of the Atlantic, stands in the path of approaching major category 4 hurricane GONZALO only the 7th named tropical cyclone of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.

Water-vapor satellite image (NOAA) of 17 October 2014 showing hurricane GONZALO on its final approach toward Bermuda
Water-vapor satellite image (NOAA) of 17 October 2014 showing hurricane GONZALO on its final approach toward Bermuda

Although GONZALO may weaken slightly as it travels across cooler surface waters and encounters wind shear from the west, it will still be a strong major hurricane as it reaches the island.  Based on past impacts a 3.5 m storm surge and breaking waves of 4 m above that are possible as the brunt of the hurricane interacts with the coast line of Bermuda.

Projected track for hurricane GONZALO (courtesy of the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory) as on 17 October 2014
Projected track for hurricane GONZALO (courtesy of the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory) as on 17 October 2014

Water-vapor satellite image (NOAA) of 17 October 2014 showing tropical storm ANA as it approaches Hawaii in  the central Pacific. Also visible is the storm system approaching the Pacific coastal region of Mexico

Water-vapor satellite image (NOAA) of 17 October 2014 showing tropical storm ANA as it approaches Hawaii in the central Pacific. Also visible is the storm system approaching the Pacific coastal region of Mexico

As this hazard event unfolds in the Atlantic, tropical storm ANA is approaching the state of Hawaii in the Central Pacific ocean, but if the projected track remains as accurate as it has been up to now, it would appear all of the major islands of Hawaii will dodge a direct land-falling hit from this storm, which is forecast to pass to the south of the  islands. Strong storm surge and wave impacts may still take place especially in Oahu and Kauai.

Projected track for tropical storm ANA (courtesy of the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory) as of 17 October 2014
Projected track for tropical storm ANA (courtesy of the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory) as of 17 October 2014

Some 5000 km to the east of Hawaii a strong tropical wave is moving toward the Pacific coast line of Mexico in the general direction of Acapulco. While this storm system appears to be strengthening it may not develop further as it reaches land. Despite this possible lack of cyclonic development, this storm is already generating copious amounts of rain along a wide coastal region, raising the potential for dangerous flash floods and coastal flooding.

Elsewhere in the world is relatively quiet in terms of cyclonic activity, although there are a couple of cells of disturbed weather approaching the Philippines Sea in the Northwestern Pacific, and for the  first time in a long while we are also seeing a potentially cyclonic system in the southern hemisphere waters of the southern Indian ocean. We can expect to see more of these as the southern hemisphere spring progresses toward summer.