Tag Archives: Florida

TROPICAL CYCLONE ACTIVITY MOVES NORTH!

The Earth’s axis continues to tilt as we near the halfway point of the northern hemisphere’s spring, and as the Sun above moves toward the Tropic of Cancer the heat content of the ocean and surface water temperature steadily increase in the northern tropics. Together with this stage of the process of the seasons the factors that contribute to cyclogenesis, the formation of tropical cyclones, are falling into place and we are starting to have tropical cyclone activity in the northern hemisphere.

The month of May started with a newly formed large tropical cyclone FANI in the Indian ocean moving in the Bay of Bengal, infamous for favoring large, wet, damaging, and deadly cyclones.

The path of cyclone FANI, which made landfall in Odisha State, northeastern India this Friday 3 May 2019 around 0930.

FANI became a category 5 (Saffir-Simpson intensity scale) super cyclone as it aimed for the northern reaches of the Bay of Bengal. The cyclone had sustained winds of 240 kph (150 mph), gusting to 300+ kph, and generated copious rain and massive storm surge as it made landfall in the northeastern coastal region of Odisha state in India, in the morning hours of Friday 3 May 2019, near Kalkata the capital. FANI has continue to weaken as it moves inland causing widespread flooding in India and Bangladesh.

Civil protection authorities in India and Bangladesh implemented massive evacuation from the coastal regions ahead of the cyclone, more than one million evacuees in India alone, and activated storms shelters throughout the area. Initial reports from the affected regions in India confirm seven deaths already, a toll which is expected to increase. Sad as the news is, it is clear that emergency precautions and advanced forecasting undertaking by the authorities and heeded by the population have been quite effective in protecting residents of the affected areas from this dangerous and powerful cyclone.

Elsewhere, a disturbed area of low pressure between Florida and the Bahamas showing some potential for cyclonic development has continued to move northwestward toward the USA coastline. This system has generated disturbed weather and plenty of rain over the Florida peninsula and the southeastern coastal region.

Low-pressure disturbed-weather system moving generally NW between the Bahamas and Florida is showing a low probability of cyclonic development, but meanwhile it has caused rain and disturbed weather over the Florida peninsula.

A look beyond the Eastern Atlantic over equatorial Africa is already showing some tropical-wave activity moving westward north of the equator. These may become seeds for potential cyclonic activity as they move over the already warm waters of the Eastern Atlantic.

Satellite image shows tropical waves and disturbed weather cells over Equatorial Africa and waters of the Eastern Atlantic moving westward onto the southern fringes of ‘Hurricane Alley’

The region over waters of the Eastern Pacific near Panama, northern South America and Central America, are already populated by numerous disturbed weather and storm cells that have been typical of this region around this time over the past few years. So the possibility for some development in this sub-basin cannot be ignored.

Note conglomerate of storm cells off the coast of Panama and Central America over eastern Pacific waters, as well as a large storm system moving off the coast of Mexico toward Hawaii and the central Pacific.

At the opposite end of the vast ocean, the Northwestern Pacific has been quite active recently with numerous stormy weather systems moving near the Philippines, Japan, and neighboring mainland.

A train of large storm cells moves westward over waters of the Pacific Ocean north of the Equator. Other large storm systems are on the move near the Philippines and Japan.

Meanwhile in the USA large storms are raging over Texas and neighboring states, and over the Ohio river valley and surrounding region. The combination of weather fronts, Jetstream paths, and the supply of warm moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, is clearly contributing to these storms that are generating floods, tornadoes and other damaging effects across vast regions of the country.

The pattern is clear, potential tropical cyclone activity continues to move toward the north coinciding with the approaching summer and the “official” start of 2019 hurricane season in the Pacific and the Atlantic.

Residents of these ‘vulnerable parts’ will do well to be ready, stay prepared, remain alert and MITIGATE!

IRMA: An Atlantic hurricane for the record books!

With each new advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center about the course and intensity of Hurricane IRMA, we all become exponentially more awe striken at the powerful display of Mother Nature, and wonder how much more intense can this storm grow?

Visible light satellite image (NASA) showing Hurricane IRMA as it had reached maximum sustained winds of 294 kph (184 mph) and a low central pressure of 926 mb, this Tuesday 5 September 2017

The latest data I have seen shows that as of 1515 EST IRMA was packing sustained winds of 294 kph (184 mph) with even higher gusts, and its then current central pressure had already dropped to 926 mb. This is by far the stronger hurricane active in the open Atlantic since records have been kept. New record may still be set in coming days as the hurricane encounters even warmer surface waters.We can only wait and see what happens.

Visible light satellite image (NOAA) taken this afternoon of 5 September 2017 at 1515 EST showing Hurricane IRMA nearing the northern Lesser Antilles. Notice the strengthening tropical wave to the east-southeast

Visible light and infrared imagery focusing on water vapor in the atmosphere show an impressive image of IRMA as it approached the northern Winward Islands, and the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico beyond. In these images we can also see the ‘chase’ tropical wave following behind IRMA , which is already displaying some cyclonic characteristics.

Infrared satellite image (NOAA) showing water vapor in the atmosphere to highlight the environment surrounding Hurricane IRMA and its ‘chase’ tropical wave this 5 September at 1415 EST

Awesome as this display of power is, it is even more worrying because of the vast potential for causing  damage that  this hurricane has as it gets closer to various land masses along its path including our Florida peninsula, which remains within the ‘cone of uncertainty’ of the predicted track of IRMA in coming days.

Projected track for Hurricane IRMA as of this Tuesday 5 September at 1400 EST. Based on an advisory from the National Hurricane Center

IRMA may be the ‘big one’ we have speculated about for the past 25 years, or it may not. Only time will tell and we will find out soon enough. Now is the time to take the potential impact from IRMA’s wind and water extremely seriously and take all precautions necessary to protect life and property. May God protect us all.

Get ready. Remain alert. Be prepared. MITIGATE!