Tag Archives: Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale

12 June 2014: Hurricane Cristina is a category 4!

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 12 June 2014 showing Hurricane CRISTINA off the Pacific coast of Mexico and, to its south, part of the 'belt of tropical activity' extending more than 9,000 kilometers across the Pacific ocean
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 12 June 2014 showing Hurricane CRISTINA off the Pacific coast of Mexico and, to its south, part of the ‘belt of tropical activity’ extending more than 9,000 kilometers across the Pacific ocean

Earlier today, Thursday 12 June 2014, around 0500 Pacific time Hurricane CRISTINA off the Pacific coast of Mexico reached category 4 strength in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. So, in about 24 hours this tropical cyclone, the 3rd named storm of the 2014 eastern Pacific Hurricane Season, went from a tropical storm to a strong major hurricane. That is quite a rapid intensification indeed!

Satellite image for the aviation industry on 12 June 2014 showing Hurricane Cristina and other tropical weather activity extending across the ocean close to the equator
Satellite image for the aviation industry on 12 June 2014 showing Hurricane Cristina and other tropical weather activity extending across the ocean close to the equator

During the afternoon hours, and even more this evening, CRISTINA has began to interact with a less favorable ocean-atmosphere environment where wind shear is already affecting it and surface waters although still quite warm, will be getting progressively cooler along the projected storm track.

Visible light satellite image of 12 June 2014 showing a close-up of Hurricane CRISTINA and its eye in the early afternoon hours
Visible light satellite image of 12 June 2014 showing a close-up of Hurricane CRISTINA and its eye in the early afternoon hours
Projected track for Hurricane CRISTINA developed by the U.S. Navy Research Lab on the basis of NOAA data on 12 June 2014
Projected track for Hurricane CRISTINA developed by the U.S. Navy Research Lab on the basis of NOAA data on 12 June 2014

As CRISTINA continues to move generally WNW, it is interesting to note that to its south and extending more than 9,000 kilometers there is a train of large tropical waves and storm cells reaching from northern South America into the far western tropical Pacific ocean and beyond. A clear sign that conditions for tropical cyclone development are growing more favorable in the northern hemisphere.

Infrared satellite image of 12 Junne 2014 showing Tropical Cyclone NANAUK overt the Arabian Sea as it moves NW toward Oman
Infrared satellite image of 12 June 2014 showing Tropical Cyclone NANAUK overt the Arabian Sea as it moves NW toward Oman
Projected track for cyclone NANAUK as of 12 June 2014 developed by the U.S. Navy Research Lab. on the basis of NOAA data
Projected track for cyclone NANAUK as of 12 June 2014 developed by the U.S. Navy Research Lab. on the basis of NOAA data

At the opposite side of the planet, in the Arabian Sea, category 1 Tropical Cyclone Nanauk continues to move toward Oman.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 12 June 2014 showing the 'tropical wave assembly line' over Equatorial Africa is populated by a train of disturbed weather cells marching westward toward the Atlantic and the southern region of 'hurricane alley'
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 12 June 2014 showing the ‘tropical wave assembly line’ over Equatorial Africa is populated by a train of disturbed weather cells marching westward toward the Atlantic and the southern region of ‘hurricane alley’

Elsewhere satellite imagery shows a train of tropical waves moving westward over Equatorial Africa toward the warm waters of the Atlantic to the south of the Cape Verde Islands, but ‘hurricane alley’ show little ‘traffic’ at this time.

Full-Earth disk composite satellite image of 12 June 2014 showing the status of the 'belt of tropical activity' over the western hemisphere from the Atlantic to the eastern Pacific
Full-Earth disk composite satellite image of 12 June 2014 showing the status of the ‘belt of tropical activity’ over the western hemisphere from the Atlantic to the eastern Pacific
Full Earth-disk composite satellite image of 12 June 2014 over the Pacicif Ocean showing the status of the 'belt of tropical activity' there
Full Earth-disk composite satellite image of 12 June 2014 over the Pacific Ocean showing the status of the ‘belt of tropical activity’ there

It is clear that the various ocean basins in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, are showing the effects of warming surface waters and atmosphere in terms of numerous cells of disturbed weather and storms on a daily basis. Continuous monitoring by vulnerable communities around these basins is certainly warranted.

Tropical Cyclone Activity in the Northern Hemisphere: 10 June 2014

Our star the Sun overhead is approaching the Tropic of Cancer, oceans in the northern hemisphere continue to get warmer, and the atmosphere above is populated by tropical waves and disturbed weather cells with increasing frequency. As this is happening in the coupled ocean-atmosphere environment conditions are gradually becoming more favorable for cyclogenesis.

Today, Tuesday 10 June 2014, there are two active tropical cyclones at opposite regions of the world, in the eastern Pacific ocean off the coast of Mexico and in the Arabian Sea, northwestern Indian Ocean, between India and Oman some 1000 km south of Karachi, Pakistan. At the same time there are large disturbed weather cells over the northern Philippines Sea near Taiwan, in the western Pacific aiming for the Philippines, and over the eastern Atlantic south of the Cape Verde Islands, all of this while yet another wild storm rampages over the United States from the south to the northeast.  The mosaic of satellite images shown below illustrates this activity.

Mosaic of satellite images this Tuesday 10 June 2014 from the eastern Pacific to the Indian Ocean, showing two active tropical cyclones and other regions of  disturbed weather over the northern hemisphere
Mosaic of satellite images this Tuesday 10 June 2014 from the eastern Pacific to the Indian Ocean, showing two active tropical cyclones and other regions of disturbed weather over the northern hemisphere

Tropical storm CRISTINA, the 3rd named tropical  cyclone of the 2014 east Pacific hurricane season is some 900 km west of Acapulco, Mexico moving toward the NW away from land, but it is still generating quite a bit of rain over the coastal region of central and south Mexico.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 10 June 2014 showing Tropical Storm CRISTINA off the coast of Mexico
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 10 June 2014 showing Tropical Storm CRISTINA off the coast of Mexico
Projected track of Tropical Storm CRISTINA over the eastern Pacific [by the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory based on  NOAA data]
Projected track of Tropical Storm CRISTINA over the eastern Pacific [by the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory based on NOAA data]
Close-up satellite view of Tropical Storm Cristina during the late evening of Tuesday 10 June 2014
Close-up satellite view of Tropical Storm Cristina during the late evening of Tuesday 10 June 2014

The other active tropical cyclone in the northern hemisphere today is the second one to generate over the Indian Ocean. This one is actually over the Arabian Sea, a region that sees its share of violent storms, but not that much cyclonic activity on an annual basis. Most models show this storm moving WNW toward Oman. All interests around the Arabian Sea in Oman, Iran, Pakistan and India need to monitor this storm closely in coming days. Satellite image below illustrate this storm’s location.

Color-enhanced infrared satellie image of 10 June 2014 showing Tropical Cyclone TWO over the northern Indian Ocean, in the Arabian Sea.
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 10 June 2014 showing Tropical Cyclone TWO over the northern Indian Ocean, in the Arabian Sea.
Visible light satellite image in the early morning hours of Wednesday 11 June 2014 showing Tropical Cyclone Two over the Arabian Sea, Northern Indian Ocean.
Visible light satellite image in the early morning hours of Wednesday 11 June 2014 showing Tropical Cyclone Two over the Arabian Sea, Northern Indian Ocean.

Farther to the east over the Northern Philippines Sea, in the northwestern Pacific, a rather large and strong low-pressure system is north of the Philippines and west of Taiwan generating copious rainfall and extreme weather over a wide region. This system is showing a propensity for further even cyclonic development in the next day or so. All interests in the region, from the Philippines, to Taiwan, China, Korea and Japan need to monitor this one closely. Satellite image below illustrates the location of this system, designated as INVEST 94W.

Color-enhanced infrared satellite imagery of 10 June 2014 showing INVEST 94W, a low pressure system being monitored for possible cyclonic development over the northern Philippines Sea. Other disturbed weather cells over the larger region are also shown.
Color-enhanced infrared satellite imagery of 10 June 2014 showing INVEST 94W, a low pressure system being monitored for possible cyclonic development over the northern Philippines Sea. Other disturbed weather cells over the larger region are also shown.
Visible light satellite image of 10 JUne 2014 showing INVEST 94W over the northern Philippines Sea
Visible light satellite image of 10 June 2014 showing INVEST 94W over the northern Philippines Sea

Closer to our neck-of-the-woods here in Florida and the rest of the hurricane-vulnerable U.S.A.  we are having disturbed weather as a result of a large storm moving from the south to the northeast, which has been generating severe storms, tornadoes, and intense and frequent lightning strikes over several states since yesterday. Also of interest for this region, as well as for the Caribbean and Central America larger sub-basin, there at a distance over the far eastern Atlantic to the south of the Cape Verde Islands, there is a large and elongated tropical wave that had emerged from equatorial Africa over the warm Atlantic waters and has started to travel westward along the southern boundary of ‘hurricane alley’. Nothing major at this time, but a sign that the tropical-wave conveyor over equatorial Africa might be steering up. Another sign that the northern hemisphere tropics are getting more active with each passing day as we move toward the summer solstice in a few days.

Color-enhanced infrared GOES-EAST satellite image of 10 June 2014 showing active and potential cyclonic activity from the eastern Pacific to the eastern Atlantic
Color-enhanced infrared GOES-EAST satellite image of 10 June 2014 showing active and potential cyclonic activity from the eastern Pacific to the eastern Atlantic

This is just Mother Nature in one more annual cycle, doing what She does in its constant search for balance between extremes. This is something we have come to expect every year, so no surprises here. Let us keep alert, remain prepared and engage in the practice of MITIGATION! Keep in mind, it doe not matter if the ‘prediction’ is for a ‘below average’ or ‘less active’ 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, all it takes is one impact by a hurricane to cause plenty of damage, loss of property, plenty of human suffering, and possibly death and injury.

UPDATE ON 11 JUNE 2014

Tropical storm CRISTINA strengthened during the night and it is now a category 1 hurricane (in the Saffir Simpson hurricane wind scale) moving generally westward at 10 kph, away from the Pacific coast of Mexico, with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph (75 mph). The tropical cyclone is tracking over a favorable ocean-atmosphere environment that will most probably promote further strengthening over the next 24 – 48 hours. While the storm is moving away from land it is still generating plenty of rain over the coastal region, which may lead to flash flooding and potential damage to infrastructure and risk for life in the area.

Visible light satellite image in the early morning hours (Pacific Time) of Wednesday 11 June 2014 showing Hurricane CRISTINA
Visible light satellite image in the early morning hours (Pacific Time) of Wednesday 11 June 2014 showing Hurricane CRISTINA
Projected track for Hurricane CRISTINA as of 06/11/2014 by the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory based on NOAA data
Projected track for Hurricane CRISTINA as of 06/11/2014 by the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory based on NOAA data
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 11 June 2014 showing Hurricane CRISTINA as it moves away from mainland Mexico
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of 11 June 2014 showing Hurricane CRISTINA as it moves away from mainland Mexico

12 June Update:

Hurricane CRISTINA is now a strong category 2 tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 195 kph (120+ mph) and much higher gusts as it continues to move generally toward the NW away fro the Mexican Pacific coast. The storm continues to track through an ocean-atmosphere environments that favors further strengthening over the next 24-36 hours. Satellite imagery and map below depict current conditions and track for this storm.

Infrared satellite image of Hurricane crISTINA in the very early morning hours of Thursday 12 June 2014
Infrared satellite image of Hurricane CRISTINA in the very early morning hours of Thursday 12 June 2014
Projected track for Hurricane CRISTINA on 12 June 2014 prepared by the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory, based on NOAA data
Projected track for Hurricane CRISTINA on 12 June 2014 prepared by the U.S. Navy Research Laboratory, based on NOAA data
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image in the early morning of 12 June 2014 showing now category 2 Hurricane CRISTINA off the Mexican Pacific coast. As the tropical cyclone continues to stregthen a well define eye is clearly visible
Color-enhanced infrared satellite image in the early morning of 12 June 2014 showing now category 2 Hurricane CRISTINA off the Mexican Pacific coast. As the tropical cyclone continues to stregthen a well define eye is clearly visible