Tag Archives: Pacific Hurricane Season

TROPICAL CYCLONE ACTIVITY MOVES NORTH!

The Earth’s axis continues to tilt as we near the halfway point of the northern hemisphere’s spring, and as the Sun above moves toward the Tropic of Cancer the heat content of the ocean and surface water temperature steadily increase in the northern tropics. Together with this stage of the process of the seasons the factors that contribute to cyclogenesis, the formation of tropical cyclones, are falling into place and we are starting to have tropical cyclone activity in the northern hemisphere.

The month of May started with a newly formed large tropical cyclone FANI in the Indian ocean moving in the Bay of Bengal, infamous for favoring large, wet, damaging, and deadly cyclones.

The path of cyclone FANI, which made landfall in Odisha State, northeastern India this Friday 3 May 2019 around 0930.

FANI became a category 5 (Saffir-Simpson intensity scale) super cyclone as it aimed for the northern reaches of the Bay of Bengal. The cyclone had sustained winds of 240 kph (150 mph), gusting to 300+ kph, and generated copious rain and massive storm surge as it made landfall in the northeastern coastal region of Odisha state in India, in the morning hours of Friday 3 May 2019, near Kalkata the capital. FANI has continue to weaken as it moves inland causing widespread flooding in India and Bangladesh.

Civil protection authorities in India and Bangladesh implemented massive evacuation from the coastal regions ahead of the cyclone, more than one million evacuees in India alone, and activated storms shelters throughout the area. Initial reports from the affected regions in India confirm seven deaths already, a toll which is expected to increase. Sad as the news is, it is clear that emergency precautions and advanced forecasting undertaking by the authorities and heeded by the population have been quite effective in protecting residents of the affected areas from this dangerous and powerful cyclone.

Elsewhere, a disturbed area of low pressure between Florida and the Bahamas showing some potential for cyclonic development has continued to move northwestward toward the USA coastline. This system has generated disturbed weather and plenty of rain over the Florida peninsula and the southeastern coastal region.

Low-pressure disturbed-weather system moving generally NW between the Bahamas and Florida is showing a low probability of cyclonic development, but meanwhile it has caused rain and disturbed weather over the Florida peninsula.

A look beyond the Eastern Atlantic over equatorial Africa is already showing some tropical-wave activity moving westward north of the equator. These may become seeds for potential cyclonic activity as they move over the already warm waters of the Eastern Atlantic.

Satellite image shows tropical waves and disturbed weather cells over Equatorial Africa and waters of the Eastern Atlantic moving westward onto the southern fringes of ‘Hurricane Alley’

The region over waters of the Eastern Pacific near Panama, northern South America and Central America, are already populated by numerous disturbed weather and storm cells that have been typical of this region around this time over the past few years. So the possibility for some development in this sub-basin cannot be ignored.

Note conglomerate of storm cells off the coast of Panama and Central America over eastern Pacific waters, as well as a large storm system moving off the coast of Mexico toward Hawaii and the central Pacific.

At the opposite end of the vast ocean, the Northwestern Pacific has been quite active recently with numerous stormy weather systems moving near the Philippines, Japan, and neighboring mainland.

A train of large storm cells moves westward over waters of the Pacific Ocean north of the Equator. Other large storm systems are on the move near the Philippines and Japan.

Meanwhile in the USA large storms are raging over Texas and neighboring states, and over the Ohio river valley and surrounding region. The combination of weather fronts, Jetstream paths, and the supply of warm moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, is clearly contributing to these storms that are generating floods, tornadoes and other damaging effects across vast regions of the country.

The pattern is clear, potential tropical cyclone activity continues to move toward the north coinciding with the approaching summer and the “official” start of 2019 hurricane season in the Pacific and the Atlantic.

Residents of these ‘vulnerable parts’ will do well to be ready, stay prepared, remain alert and MITIGATE!

02 November 2014: It is all in the Pacific!

It was it the low to mid 40s [degrees Farenheit] early this morning of Sunday 2 November 2014, and much colder in central and northern Florida. Could this be a sign that winter is approaching?  For some in the South and other places in the U.S.A. with snow on the ground and freezing wind-chills WINTER is already here.

Despite these signs of the approaching change in seasons tropical cyclone activity is present today at both ends of the northern Pacific Ocean. Ten thousand kilometers apart Tropical Storm VANCE over the eastern Pacific and Typhoon NURI over the northwestern Pacific reminds us of just how active the northern Pacific basin has been so far in 2014, in terms of cyclonic activity.

Infrared satellite image [NASA] of 2 November 2014 showing a strengthening Tropical Storm VANCE off the Pacific coast of Mexico
Infrared satellite image [NASA] of 2 November 2014 showing a strengthening Tropical Storm VANCE off the Pacific coast of Mexico

 Projected track for tropical cyclone VANCE [courtesy of the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory] as of 1 November 2014

Projected track for tropical cyclone VANCE [courtesy of the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory] as of 1 November 2014

Tropical storm VANCE is strengthening, and may become a hurricane over the next 12 – 24 hours, as it begins to change its course toward an eventual turn toward the NE in the general direction of Cabo San Lucas in the Baja California peninsula and Mazatlan. VANCE is the 20th named storm of what has been a record-breaking East Pacific hurricane season in 2014.

Infrared satellite image [NASA] of 2 November 2014 showing a strengthening category 3 Typhoon NURI over the Philippines Sea
Infrared satellite image [NASA] of 2 November 2014 showing a strengthening category 3 Typhoon NURI over the Philippines Sea
Projected track for Typhoon NURI [courtesy of the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory]  as of 2 November 2014
Projected track for Typhoon NURI [courtesy of the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory] as of 2 November 2014

Typhoon NURI brushed past Guam a couple of days ago, and it is now a strong category 3 typhoon that is continuing to strengthen as it tracks into a favorable ocean-atmospheric environment and continues to change course toward the waters off eastern Japan.

As the years comes to an end, it will be interesting to look back and take count of what has transpired in terms of cyclonic activity in 2014. There have been some interesting events that will be worth examining in greater detail. As I write this two recent tropical cyclones come to mind because of their longevity. One is tropical storm ANA, which tracked by the islands of Hawaii to then veer North and NE before being ‘picked-up’ by a system that carried it all the way back to the mainland of Canada and the U.S.A. northwest eventually affecting the U.S.A. all the way to the mid-west more than two weeks later. A similar story was Hurricane Gonzalo, which was generated over the west-central Atlantic near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, hit Bermuda and  continued toward extreme eastern Canada and eventually mainland Europe, where it continue on an eastern track until it caused extreme rains and flooding in Greece more than two weeks later.  It will be interesting to analyze what contributing factors made both ANA and GONZALO last so long, travel so far north and then east, and affect such a wide region.