Earlier this year predictions called for a rather active 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season, but as an incipient ENSO began to show off the Pacific coast of Peru and Ecuador and other contributing factors became evasive, predictions were changed to a “somewhat below average” to “average” season, whatever “average” means.
The reality of tropical cyclone activity in 2018 in the Earth’s northern hemisphere is that while the Northwest Pacific has already seen 23 named-storms, some of them ferocious category 5 cyclones, and the East Pacific is already up to 15 named-storm, the Atlantic basin has been somewhat quiet with barely six named-storm by early September until FLORENCE, number 7, appeared over the eastern Atlantic but soon encountered an adverse ocean-atmosphere environment and wind shear, which weakened considerably putting in doubt its future progress.
As of today all of that has changed, FLORENCE is regaining strength and may possibly become a major hurricane as it continues to move toward the Carolinas on the east coast, while two other tropical storms HELENE and ISAAC have formed over the far eastern Atlantic. At the same time, a low pressure system moves over Bermuda ahead of Florence, and a menacing looking tropical wave over equatorial Africa continues moving westward toward the Atlantic just south of the Cape Verde islands, and a large cell of disturbed weather is on the march in the Caribbean. So, as of this Saturday 8 September we have reached nine named-storm and there is plenty of fuel for additional cyclonic activity in the Atlantic basin.
All interests in and around the north Atlantic basin must monitor these named tropical cyclones closely over the next few days, and be on the alert for other potential cyclonic activity in days to come. Be prepared! MITIGATE!
Elsewhere, hurricane OLIVIA appears to be aiming for Hawaii, which is still recovering from the brush with LANE just a couple of weeks ago. Farther to the west, Typhoon MANGKHUT is moving over the northwest Pacific in the general direction of the northern Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan. This is a region that has already seen several landfalling tropical cyclones causing plenty of damage and human suffering.