Tag Archives: Florida

Is the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Here Already?

GOES satellite image of 18 June 2017 in the early evening (Florida time) showing two strong storm cells in the western Caribbean and southwestern north Atlantic, which are already showing potential for tropical cyclone development. (Courtesy of NOAA)

From my vantage point of southeast Florida I can see a rather large storm cell in the northwestern Caribbean, off the coast of Quintana Roo state in Mexico, covering more than four million square kilometers and already causing heavy rains throughout Central America. the Caribbean and major Antilles and even most of Florida, which is also showing some potential cyclonic tendencies. I also see another strong and large tropical wave close to the western terminus of ‘Hurricane Alley’ approaching the minor Antilles, which also shows potential for tropical cyclone development.

Does this mean the “official” 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is about to get underway? Some would argue that the season already got an early start when Tropical Storm ARLENE formed in the Atlantic basin around mid-April 2017. But since the officially human designated start date for the 2017 Atlantic season is June 1, I would argue that the “official” start of the season is still ahead of us.

GOES EAST satellite image (NOAA) of 18 June 2017 in the evening over the Caribbean, showing the rather large storm cell off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, which is generating heavy rains from the eastern east Pacific sub-basin to Jamaica and Hispaniola and over most of Florida, and it is also showing above average potential for tropical cyclone development as it moves northwestward toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Looking at the Caribbean and Hurricane Alley approaching the Windward Islands, the gateway to the Caribbean, there are two large, rather strong and menacing storm cells. which appear to be ready to mark the “official” start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season.

The storm in the northwestern Caribbean off the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, is moving mainly northwest toward the Gulf of Mexico. It appears this storm will cross over the Yucatan to then emerge over the southwestern Gulf with above average potential for tropical cyclone development. This is a rather large system close to 2,000 kilometers in diameter that is generating vast amounts of rain from Panama to Florida and the eastern east Pacific to Jamaica and Hispaniola. This system is being monitored by the National Hurricane Center and it warrant attention from all interests i Mexico, the Antilles, Florida and all states around the Gulf of Mexico in the next 2 -3 days.

The storm at the western end of ;Hurricane Alley’ approaching the Windward Island and eastern Caribbean is the one that has most of my attention. This storm is moving west and based on its peak sustained winds it may have already reached tropical storm intensity. A close analysis of satellite imagery including wind is showing spiral bands converging toward a center of low pressure, an indication of strong cyclonic tendencies. I recommend all interests in the Caribbean, Gulf and Florida region need to monitor this system closely over the next 2 to 3 days.

The official 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season may be about to start. This is the time to remain alert. Be prepared. MITIGATE!

16 October 2016: The northern tropics remain restless, watch out!

The Autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere has come and gone, and as the Sun marches south of the equator overhead the southern hemisphere tropics we have started to see tropical waves and storm cells flare-up on that half of the planet.

Soon the northern hemisphere hurricane, typhoon and cyclone seasons will start to wind down and cease menacing hundreds of million of residents of coastal regions and island nations in the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian oceans.

We  in the northern hemisphere must however remain alert and be prepared, for the ‘official’ tropical cyclone seasons may end on fixed dates, but the reality is that Mother Nature will always do as she will!  Also, ocean heat content has continuously grown higher as every new year becomes the warmest of record or one of the warmest. So, conditions for tropical cyclone development have become earlier-happening, longer-lasting and wider-spread over time.

Infrared satellite image of 10 October 2016 showing various tropical waves, areas of disturbed weather, and Hurricane NICOLE over the larger north Atlantic basin
Infrared satellite image of 16 October 2016 showing various tropical waves, areas of disturbed weather, and Hurricane NICOLE over the larger north Atlantic basin

In fact, satellite imagery this morning brought pictures of a large tropical disturbance over the Bahamas looking suspiciously as if cyclonic development could be possible. This may already be affecting a wide region from Florida to the Carolinas, which were hit hard a few days ago by Hurricane MATTHEW, and also suffered a remote hit that coincided with King Tides from passage of Hurricane NICOLE at a distance.

Other satellite images of the north Atlantic basin show a tropical wave over the isthmus of Panama, another one in the middle of ‘hurricane alley’ and yet another one beginning to emerge over the eastern Atlantic from equatorial Africa, plus a nice one of Hurricane NICOLE still going strong over the open waters of the Atlantic.

Enhanced infrared satellite image of 16 October 2016 showing numerous tropical waves and storm cells reaching some 10,000 kilometers from Atlantic Waters to the Lake Victoria region in eastern Africa
Enhanced infrared satellite image of 16 October 2016 showing numerous tropical waves and storm cells reaching some 10,000 kilometers from Atlantic Waters to the Lake Victoria region in eastern Africa

Farther east from the eastern Atlantic waters, there remains a long train of tropical waves and storm cells over equatorial Africa reaching all the way to Lake Victoria and beyond. Plenty of fuel left for future cyclonic activity.

Enhanced infrared satellite image of 16 October 2016 over the Northwest Pacific showing typhoons SARIKA and HAIMA respectfully moving away from and approaching the Philippines!
Enhanced infrared satellite image of 16 October 2016 over the Northwest Pacific showing typhoons SARIKA and HAIMA respectfully moving away from and approaching the Philippines!

On the opposite side of the planet, near northwest Pacific waters there is typhoon SARIKA moving in the South China Sea toward another landwall after ravaging the Philippines, while to the east there is a strong typhoon HAIMA approaching the Philippines Sea and a possible double-whammy on that most cyclone-vulnerable country on Earth.

Life goes on, and this is the only planet we have for now, so it is prudent to pay attention, remain alert, and be prepared alway. MITIGATE!