Disturbed weather is everywhere. A huge storm, now affecting fourteen states across the south-central USA, has been moving eastward with damaging winds, possible tornadoes, severe lightning, hail, and heavy rains.
On the other side of the planet in the Bay of Bengal, a large and strengthening Tropical Storm TWO is moving generally north toward Bangladesh. Flooding is expected in the low-laying coastal regions of Bangladesh, and possibly northeastern India and northwestern Burma. There is also a large cell of disturbed weather over the South China Sea, between the Philippines and Vietnam, which is showing some cyclonic tendencies meriting investigation and close monitoring.
A large region from Southern Mexico to Panama and waters of the eastern east Pacific has been under a conglomerate of stormy weather cells, which have been causing extreme rain, severe lightning, and instances of flooding throughout the area for the past few days. This has brought much-needed rain to alleviate drought conditions in Nicaragua and other Central American countries, but at the price of damaging flash floods and winds.
Hurricane alley just north of the equator is filling up with storms and disturbed weather cells, generated by tropical waves emerging from equatorial Africa, all the way from eastern Atlantic waters to the Caribbean.
It is clear we need to be prepared and remain alert. MITIGATE!
Here we go again imposing human constraints on what Mother Nature does well on her own, by declaring the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season if officially open today 1 June 2015! This despite the fact that ANA marked an early start of the 2015 Atlantic season when it became the first named storm of 2015 in the Atlantic basin early in May of this year.
So, how is Mother Nature behaving in terms of cyclonic activity as we give her the ‘green light’ to begin the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season?
Taking a worldwide look at the northern tropics on this 1st day of June 2015 we see a strengthening Hurricane Andres, the first-named tropical cyclone of the East Pacific 2015 hurricane season, which is moving WNW toward the area of Hawaii. Also in this area and not far from ANDRES we see a nearly stationary Tropical Depression #2 some 500 kilometers west of the resort of Acapulco, Mexico. So the East Pacific season is off to a busy start.
Also in the Pacific basin, but farther south from where Andres and TD #2 are located, we see an expanding and strengthening El Niño reaching from the central Pacific to the coastline of South America. This anomaly will undoubtedly have effects on weather patterns in regions as far away as India, where the annual monsoon has already been delayed leading to a heat wave that has claimed more than 1500 lives, to the Atlantic where the hurricane season is expected to be dampened somewhat.
Elsewhere the various sub-basins where cyclogenesis takes place are quiet today, but there are plenty of tropical waves, rain and storm cells that presage the possibility of future cyclonic activity in regions such as the Northwest Pacific, where the Philippines and other nations have already been impacted this year, or the northern Indian Ocean.
Closer to us here in Florida, the Atlantic is already showing elongated areas of rain and disturbed weather populating the southern fringe of ‘Hurricane alley’ pushed westward by tropical waves emerging from Equatorial Africa. This pattern will gradually shift northward as summer approaches and the season progresses allowing potential future storms to aim for the Caribbean and the several vulnerable coastal regions in Central America and the Yucatan as well as island nation.
To highlight the ‘official’ start of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season we have recently seen the seasonal forecasts issued by NOAA, the folks in Colorado and others, which all coincide in projecting as a ‘below normal’ season, whatever the meaning of ‘normal’ is. In the end, as most of us well know, Mother Nature will do what it takes to balance the extremes that may emerge over the next six months in the coupled ocean-atmosphere environment.
So, this is the worldwide picture of cyclonic activity today. What the 1 June official start of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season really is, is a reminder that all of us in hurricane vulnerable communities to be prepared, remain alert, and to practice mitigation in order to reduce the potential for damage from the expected impacts of tropical cyclones generated over the waters of the Atlantic.