Tag Archives: Northwestern Caribbean

Carlos reaches hurricane strength

Satellite image of 13 June 2015 showing hurricane CARLOS under visible light [NASA]
Satellite image of 13 June 2015 showing hurricane CARLOS under visible light [NASA]

Tropical cyclone CARLOS, the 3rd named storm of the 2015 East Pacific hurricane season reached hurricane strength earlier today off the coast of Mexico. The hurricane is generating sustained 120 kph winds, with  higher gusts, while its track has shifted slightly to the east.

Projected track of hurricane CARLOS as of 13 June [Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory]
Projected track of hurricane CARLOS as of 13 June [Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory]

The new projected track of hurricane Carlos will take it closer to the coastline of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta than previously anticipated and toward the Gulf of California earlier this coming week. Because of its slow forward motion this storm has the potential for causing significant damage by way of coastal flooding, including instances of flash floods, because of the copious rain it is generating over the region.

Infrared GOES EAST satellite image [NOAA] of 13 June showing  the low pressure system generating copious rain and stormy weather over a vast region from southern Mexico and the northwestern Caribbean to Central America and Panama
Infrared GOES EAST satellite image [NOAA] of 13 June showing the low pressure system generating copious rain and stormy weather over a vast region from southern Mexico and the northwestern Caribbean to Central America and Panama

Hurricane Carlos is paralleled by a low pressure system of the east coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico, that is generating stormy weather and vast amounts of rain over the Yucatan Peninsula, southern Mexico, and most of Central America and the central and northwestern Caribbean basin. This system is traversing the Yucatan peninsula and it is expected to emerge over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico where in may intensify under a favorable ocean-atmosphere environment.

While Mexico experiences impacts of both coastlines, and Central America continues to suffer extreme rain events and instances of flooding that have already caused significant damage to buildings and infrastructure as well as death by drowning,  there is plenty of fuel for potential further adverse weather activity in coming days, in the form of storm cells pushing westward along ‘hurricane alley’, pushed by tropical waves emerging from Equatorial Africa over the eastern Atlantic.

All interests in the Caribbean basin, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Central America  and Mexico must monitor these systems closely, remaining always alert and prepared, and engaged in the practice of mitigation!

June 12, 2015: It is Carlos, the Caribbean, the Gulf, and floods in Nicaragua!

There is plenty of disturbed weather near our neck-of-the woods here if our Florida paradise!

Infrared GOEST-EAST satellie [NOAA] image of 12 June showing Tropical Storm CARLOS almost stationary and strengthening to the southwest of Acapulco, Mexico
Infrared GOEST-EAST satellite [NOAA] image of 12 June showing Tropical Storm CARLOS almost stationary and strengthening to the southwest of Acapulco, Mexico

Today, Friday 12 June 2015, marks the first four weeks of the ‘official’ 2015 East Pacific Hurricane Season, which is off to a fast start with three named storm already. The latest of these storms, Tropical Storm CARLOS is almost stationary some 200 kilometers southwest of Acapulco, Mexico over an area of warm surface waters and a favorable ocean-atmosphere environment that may  lead to further strengthening of this tropical cyclone.

Tropical storm CARLOS tracks as of 12 June [courtesy of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory]
Tropical storm CARLOS tracks as of 12 June [courtesy of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory]

Opposite T.S. Carlos off the eastern coast of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico  on the Yucatan peninsula, there is an area of low pressure and an active cell of stormy weather over the northwestern Caribbean.

Infrared GOEST-EAST Satellite image [NOAA} showing various weather disturbances over the Gulf of Mexico, the northwestern Caribbean, the offshore Pacific waters off Central America, and northern South America, and 'Hurricane alley'
Infrared GOEST-EAST Satellite image [NOAA} showing various weather disturbances over the Gulf of Mexico, the northwestern Caribbean, the offshore Pacific waters off Central America, and northern South America, and ‘Hurricane alley’

Just to the north of that disturbance, over the central Gulf of Mexico, there is a large ‘glob’ of stormy weather that is already generating copious rain over a wide area.

Looking south, over Central America, the off-shore waters of the Eastern Pacific, the central Caribbean, and the northern regions of South America over Colombia, Venezuela and Guyana, there are plenty of systems that have prevailed for some time now, fueling rainy and stormy weather over a large area.

The aggregation of all of these elements of weather has already  had adverse consequences over the region extending from central/southern Mexico, through Central America and Panama, to northern South America.

This prevailing and current weather pattern over this region [Caribbean and Gulf activity], which is really a continuation, a repeat if you will, of what we have seen in recent years and most especially in 2014 when the East Pacific hurricane season generated  20 named tropical cyclones, surpassing the 18 generated in 2013, has had particularly damaging consequences in Nicaragua where extreme rain events over most of the country including over Managua, the capital city, where more than 200 mm of rain fell there yesterday over a period of 6 hours, leading to numerous instances of flash floods, some death by drowning, and extensive damage to homes and infrastructure. Emergency management authorities have declared an emergency  and have evacuated hundreds of families in Managua and in other communities.

Photo showing flood waters rushing down a causeway in Managua, Nicaragua after 200 mm of rain fell in less than six hours between 11 and 12 June 2015
Photo showing flood waters rushing down a causeway in Managua, Nicaragua after 200 mm of rain fell in less than six hours between 11 and 12 June 2015

There is no question, but that all interests in the region will need to watch unfolding events closely,  but as El Niño continues to develop off the Pacific coast of Peru and Ecuador prevailing wind currents are causing tropical waves along ‘Hurricane Alley’ to traverse over northern South America and Panama into the Eastern Pacific where they are fueling the kinds of disturbed weather we have seen over the past few weeks, and potentially future cyclonic activity as well.

It is clear that there may be plenty of  this kind of activity in the  northern tropics over coming months, consequently all interests in Nicaragua, or Mexico, or in the rest of Central America, and in the Caribbean and especially here in Florida must remain alert, be prepared and continue to mitigate!