A bit more than two weeks ago one more tropical wave emerged from equatorial Africa over the waters of the eastern Atlantic, south of the Cape Verde Islands. By August 18th if was morphing into a tropical storm over the eastern Caribbean aiming for the area of Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Eventually it made landfall and traversed the Yucatan to then emerge over the Bay of Campeche in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico where it reorganized, gained strength and became Hurricane HARVEY!
While we were commemorating the 25th anniversary of Cat 5 Hurricane ANDREW (1992), and remembering all the devastation and lessons learned, HARVEY continued to strengthen as it approached the Texas coastline and a vast region of very warm surface waters in the northern Gulf. We all know what happened next, Harvey intensified rapidly near the coast reaching category 4 strength as it made its second landfall. We all know the rest of the story, in fact we are all watching the story develop as Harvey is pouring a veritable deluge, one for the record books, over a vast region of Texas.
Keeping an eye of Harvey should not detract us from also looking at the rest of the Atlantic basin, which is quite agitated on this Sunday 27 August 2017. The tropical wave that was in the eastern Gulf near Florida, has caused abundant rain over central and southern Florida while traversing the state and emerging over the Atlantic where it is now off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, getting organized and looking poised for possible cyclonic development.
Beyond this potential new threat of cyclonic impact to our coastline, we see yet another tropical wave over the eastern Gulf, and a few more from the neighborhood of Puerto Rico to the eastern Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands. In fact that still far away tropical wave off the African coast is already showing some cyclonic tendencies that warrant close monitoring in coming days.
So, the entire Atlantic basin appears agitated and populated by ‘seeds’ for potential cyclogenesis in coming days, just as we approach what historically has been the peak of the annual Atlantic hurricane season. Food for thought. All interest in the Caribbean, Gulf, Florida and the Atlantic seaboard of the U.S. must remain alert. Be prepared. MITIGATE!
Some interesting cyclonic events are taking place in the northern tropics on this Friday 28 July 2017.
A set of twin tropical cyclones, HILARY and IRWIN (See our posting of 25 July), appear to be in a collision course midway between Mexico and Hawaii in the Pacific. Now downgraded to tropical storm strength Hilary is moving WNW while nearby to its southwest Irwin is tracking NNW putting these tropical cyclones on a course for potential interaction over the next day or so. Both Hilary and Irwin are packing maximum sustained winds of 110-115 kph posing no threat to land.
Farther to the west, over the Philippines sea a strengthening Typhoon NESAT is starting to brush past the Northern Philippines as it aims for Taiwan. At the same time, Typhoon NORU is over the northwestern Pacific making a turn toward the NNW to the east of Japan. So, this makes for four active named-tropical cyclones over the northern Pacific basin, in addition to several areas of disturbed weather and tropical waves throughout the basin that may be seeds for further cyclonic activity in coming days.
Of interest to us here in South Florida, and to others throughout the Caribbean, Central America, the Gulf and the Atlantic seaboard of the U.S.A., is a tropical wave located approximately 1000 kilometers southwest of the Cape Verde Islands that has been designated as INVEST 97L by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center while monitoring it for possible cyclonic development over coming days.
Farther to the east over waters of the Eastern Atlantic and Equatorial Africa there is a train of tropical waves, including one rather large and strong storm, moving westward toward Hurricane Alley. There is plenty of seeds that may fuel cyclogenesis in that region over the next few days. All interests in our neck-of-the-woods will do well to pay attention, remain alert, and be prepared! MITIGATE!