Tag Archives: Hurricane alley

26 July 2018: What’s happening in the Atlantic hurricane-wise?

The initial round of predictions for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season called for “above average” activity in the basin.  That forecast was downgraded  during subsequent rounds of ‘revised’ predictions,  mainly because of an incipient ENSO signal off the pacific coast of Peru, which may generate a somewhat adverse environment for cyclogenesis over the Atlantic. Of course Mother Nature will do as she pleases, so we’ll have to wait and see what actually happens during the remaining 127 days of the ‘official’ Atlantic season.

A mostly calm Atlantic basin, free of tropical cyclone activity, is seen in this satellite image of 26 July 2018 (NOAA)

Although the season got an early start with Alberto in May, and two other named-storms, Beryl and Chris have activated and lived in the Atlantic since, but things have been somewhat quiet lately. On this Thursday 26 July 2018 satellite imagery shows a largely calm ocean-atmospheric environment over most of the Atlantic basin, except for a train of minor tropical waves and disturbed weather cells riding along Hurricane Alley between the Atlantic coast of Africa and the Windward Islands, the gate to the Caribbean.

Looking farther east through Equatorial Africa there are a few tropical waves moving westward along the assembly lane, but nothing that causes concerns for possible tropical cyclone activity over the next few day, at least. So all we can do is watch and wait as we start to approach what historically has been the most active part of the Atlantic season from around mid-August through early October.

Satellite image (NOAA) showing tropical waves moving westward along Hurricane Alley and Equatorial Africa this 26 July 2018

Elsewhere tropical cyclone activity has been quite active at both extremes of the northern hemisphere Pacific Ocean, with numerous storms and tropical waves hitting over the East Pacific off the coast of Central America and Mexico and near Hawaii, as well as over the Northwest Pacific and sub-basins of the Philippines Sea, and South China Sea. The Philippines, Taiwan, Viet Nam, China, South Korea, and Japan have all suffered hits, some of them more than once, from tropical storms and typhoons in 2018.

Tropical storms JONGDARI and WUKONG approaching Japan on this satellite image of 26 July 2018 (NOAA)

On this 26 July satellite imagery shows two tropical storms,  Jongdari and Wukong, moving toward potential landfalls in south-central as well as northern Japan, while some 11000 kilometers to  the east over the East Pacific we are tracking two strong tropical waves between Mexico and Hawaii, which are showing some tendency toward possible cyclonic activity.

Potential tropical cyclone activity over the Eastern Pacific is shown by two tropical wavestracked by satellite this 26 July 2018 (NOAA)


On this Saturday 19 August we are eleven weeks and two days into the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which means the ‘official’ Atlantic season is now 43.4% complete. Technically this means we have fourteen weeks and five days left in the season, unless Mother Nature decides to do something different.

More important than how much time is left for the official 2017 Atlantic hurricane season to be over, is the fact that we are approaching what historically  has been the peak of the Atlantic season, the first half of September.

Projected track for Tropical Storm HARVEY, the 8th named tropical cyclone of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, projected track (courtesy of the U.S. Naval Research Lab)

The Atlantic has been busy with tropical cyclones so far in 2017, with eight named storms so far; Tropical Storm HARVEY, now in the east-central Caribbean and moving in the general direction of Belize and the Yucatan, is the 8th named tropical cyclone in 2017 in the Atlantic basin.

GOES East infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 08/19/2017 showing tropical storm HARVEY in the Caribbean and several tropical waves following behind all the way to the coast of equatorial Africa

In what could be a possible sign of things to come during the approaching peak of the season, there are several tropical waves and areas of disturbed weather following behind HARVEY to the northeast of Puerto Rico and along ‘hurricane alley’ all the way to the eastern Atlantic waters off the coast of equatorial Africa south of the Cape Verde Islands, which could be seeds for potential cyclogenesis in the basin. A possible contributing factor to such potential cyclonic activity could be the rather warm surface waters along ‘Hurricane Alley’, in the Caribbean and the Gulf and other areas of the Atlantic basin.

Image of 08/18/2017 showing rather warm surface waters of the Atlantic, which are reaching 30 Celsius in some areas, mainly along ‘Hurricane Alley’, in the Caribbean and near Florida and the Bahamas, which are an important contributing factor to potential cyclonic activity

On the other side of the continent, over the eastern waters of the north Pacific, the 2017 hurricane season that officially started on 15 May has also been a busy one so far, with eleven named tropical cyclones in 13 weeks. The latest tropical cyclone there is Tropical Storm KENNETH now moving NNW and away from land.

GOES West infrared image (NOAA) of 19 August 2017 showing Tropical Storm KENNETH moving away from land over tye eastern north Pacific off the coast of Mexico

All interest affected by cyclonic activity generated in the Atlantic basin and in the eastern north Pacific sub-basin must pay attention. Get ready. Be prepared. Remain alert. MITIGATE!