The northern hemisphere tropics are seeing plenty of cyclonic activity on this Friday 21 August 2015.
In the Atlantic basin there is Hurricane DANNY, the first hurricane and fourth-named storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, riding ‘hurricane alley’ moving WNW in the general direction of the Virgin Island, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola beyond that. There is also a disturbance around a low pressure area in the vicinity of Bermuda, which is being investigated by the National Hurricane Center for signs of potential cyclonic development
Over the Pacific basin strong twin typhoons GONI now moving between the Philippines and Taiwan before an expected turn toward southern Japan, and ATSANI approaching southern Japan and beginning to also turn toward the north.
Also in the Pacific there are twin tropical depressions THREE and FOUR in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands.
Except for DANNY and GONI none of the other active cyclones pose any danger to land for now.
Stored heat in the tropical northern oceans is quite high now, so one important contributor to cyclogenesis is present waiting for other triggers that may generate future tropical cyclones as we reach the historical peaks of hurricane seasons in these basins.
12:00 NOON UPDATE
The 11:00 A.M. National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisory brings important new information: (a) Hurricane DANNY is now a category 2 tropical cyclone in the Safir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, packing maximum sustained winds of 170 kph; (b) a new and large tropical wave is emerging over the eastern Atlantic waters south of the Cape Verde Islands, which warrants further investigation and close monitoring; (c) Over the eastern Pacific a new low pressure disturbance off the coast of Mexico is also being investigated by the NHC.
After a sluggish first half so far the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season may be showing some signs of activity, as we approach the historical peak of the season. A conglomerate of storm and rain cells that moved down ‘hurricane alley’ in recent days is now interacting with Hispaniola and showing signs of organization and continued strengthening. Although hurricane-hunter airplanes have failed to detect a center of circulation, the system is given a high probability for cyclonic development over the next day or so as it approaches the southeastern Bahamas. Should this system become a tropical cyclone it would be ‘Cristobal’ the 3rd named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.
While we continue to monitor the progress of this system and wait to see if it indeed may become a named storm, we need to keep our eyes farther to the east over the eastern Atlantic south of the Cape Verde Islands, and over Equatorial Africa where the ‘tropical wave assembly line’ is also showing signs of increased activity.
On the other side, over the East Pacific Ocean the ‘dance of the storms’ continue with some surprising and interesting developments taking place overnight. Two of the storms, KARINA and MARIE have reached hurricane strength while LOWELL continues to maintaining tropical storm status.
Hurricane KARINA, which originated from tropical depression #12 on 11 August, had traveled some 3,500 kilometers in a generally westward direction pointing toward Hawaii before becoming a hurricane and turning around by 180 degrees in the middle of the ocean. As a result of this veritable pirouette KARINA is now following an ENE track toward the coast of Mexico, while LOWELL and MARIE are tracking NW and NNW respectively.