Tag Archives: Northern Indian Ocean

Tropical Storm ALBERTO Inaugurates 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season

GOES satellite image of 20 May 2012 showing water vapor in the atmosphere and Tropical Storm ALBERTO the first named-storm of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season just east of Jacksonville Florida  On Sunday 20 May, 2012 in the early evening Tropical Storm ALBERTO, the first-named tropical cyclone of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season is located to the northeast of Jacksonville, Florida and South of Charleston, South Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 74 kph moving to the southwest. The storm is moving in an environment with low wind shear and it is forecast to make a 180 turn and head northeast within the next 24 hours, which will place on a track paralleling the coastline of the Carolinas. Alberto marks an early start for the Atlantic hurricane season that officially was set to start this coming 1 June 2012.

Win shear is rather weak over the area where Tropical Storm Alberto was located in the early evening of 20 May 2012

Farther south and east the Caribbean and west-central Atlantic are seeing quite a bit of tropical activity in the form of rain showers and thunderstorms that extend over Central America, the Antilles, Northern South America and a good portion of the eastern Pacific.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 20 May 2012 showing several tropical waves over Equatorial Africa moving westward toward the eastern Atlantic and 'hurricane alley'

Still farther east, over the eastern Atlantic and western Equatorial Africa several tropical waves are present moving westward toward ‘Hurricane Alley‘. It would appear the ‘Tropical Wave Assembly Line‘ will continue to be fed from the Indian Ocean where several large cells of disturbed weather are aiming for the mainland of Africa.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 20 May 2012 showing several cells of disturbed weather over the Northern Indian Ocean and eastern Equatorial Africa that may eventually feed into the 'tropical wave assembly line' and even 'hurricane aley' in the Atlantic
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 20 May 2012 showing a large cell of disturbed weather over the Northwestern Pacific moving toward the Philippines and showing potential for cyclonic development over the next day or so

Over the northern tropical Pacific there is a large cell of low pressure and stormy weather moving toward the Philippines over the northwestern Pacific, while off the western coast of Mexico to the south of Acapulco the persistent cell of low pressure that was chasing after now-defunct tropical storm Aletta, is still around showing some signs of organization.

Color-enhance infrared satellite image of 20 May 2012 showing a tropical wave around an area of low pressure over the eastern North Pacific off the coast of Mexico to the south of Acapulco

In summary, the northern tropics appear to be quite active with ‘official’ 2012 hurricane seasons already under way in both the eastern North Pacific and the northern Atlantic, and plenty of disturbed weather and tropical activity over the various basins and sub-basins where cyclogenesis typically takes place. It seems it is just a matter of time until we see the first tropical cyclones of 2012 over the Central Atlantic and the Northwestern Atlantic, as well as the Northern Indian Ocean.

All interests in and around the various oceanic basins where tropical cyclones generate must remain prepared, paying attention to tropical developments as they are announced and monitored, and above all be ready to implement or deploy those mitigation measures that have been designed and installed with the objective of reducing the potential for damage to buildings and structures from the impact of tropical cyclones. These will be the times to emphasize the protection of life and property. In this regard we must all remain conscious of the fact that regardless of how active or inactive the annual season is forecast to be in a given basin,  just one tropical cyclone is all that may be needed to cause loss of life, damage to property and untold human suffering!

Tropical Waves March West on 11 August 2011

Following our own advice [See postings “7 August 2011: Looking East“; “1 August 2011: Hurricane Alley is Full of Traffic”  and “2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season: a New Level o Activity Ahead”] we have been monitoring tropical wave activity over equatorial Africa and the eastern Atlantic. Yesterday, 10 August 2011, there were two tropical waves that had just emerged, one following the other, over the previous 24 hours just south of the Cape Verde Islands, which caught our attention, because of the size, shape, rain and thunderstorm content, and also because of the generally favorable environment up ahead along ‘hurricane alley’.

Satellite image on 11 August 2011 showing water vapor in the atmosphere over the western portion of the north Atlantic basin showing some of the tropical waves we are monitoring
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image, taken six hours after the one above, showing the tropical waves affecting the region on 11 August 2011

Today, on 11 August 2011, both of these tropical waves have been investigated by the National Hurricane Center, which is given each one a 30% probability of tropical cyclone development within the next 48 hours or so. Both tropical waves are moving west in the general direction of the Lesser Antilles. While it is still too early to say how both these tropical waves might evolve in the next couple of days, it is not too early for interests in the Caribbean and Gulf basins and in Florida and the Bahamas to start monitoring these systems and to be prepared to take further action in the short term.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image taken the morning of 11 August 2011 showing a couple of tropical waves over the eastern Atlantic and others over equatorial Africa
Atlantic-wide Satellite image for the aviation industry taken in the afternoon of 11 August 2011

Beyond the eastern Atlantic and ‘hurricane alley’ there are several disturbed weather cells traversing equatorial Africa from east to west, and further east over the Arabian Sea and northern Indian Ocean a couple of large cells are making their way toward Africa to continue feeding the ‘tropical wave assembly line‘ and eventually ‘hurricane alley‘.

Composite of satellite images on 11 August 2011 creating a 'global mosaic' from the eastern Pacific through the Atlantic and equatorial Africa all the way to the northern Indian Ocean

Elsewhere, we see quite a large area of disturbed weather spanning the region from eastern Panama, over Costa Rica and Nicaragua, all the way to the eastern east Pacific waters off the coasts of Central America. This is a pattern that was quite persistent in 2010 over the same region, which lead to quite an active rainy season over most of Central America as well as the development of several tropical cyclones in that region of the Pacific.

Composite satellite image of the Erath's fulls disk over the western hemisphere on 11 August 2011 showing the 'belt of tropical activity' quite clearly circling the planet

Based on the signals we are getting over the past couple of days, our advice is “keep looking east; monitor those tropical waves over equatorial Africa and the eastern Atlantic closely; pay attention, be prepared, MITIGATE!!”

Conditions appear primed to go into a higher level during August and September.