Tag Archives: Sea surface temperature

2017 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON IS 43% DONE!

On this Saturday 19 August we are eleven weeks and two days into the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which means the ‘official’ Atlantic season is now 43.4% complete. Technically this means we have fourteen weeks and five days left in the season, unless Mother Nature decides to do something different.

More important than how much time is left for the official 2017 Atlantic hurricane season to be over, is the fact that we are approaching what historically  has been the peak of the Atlantic season, the first half of September.

Projected track for Tropical Storm HARVEY, the 8th named tropical cyclone of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, projected track (courtesy of the U.S. Naval Research Lab)

The Atlantic has been busy with tropical cyclones so far in 2017, with eight named storms so far; Tropical Storm HARVEY, now in the east-central Caribbean and moving in the general direction of Belize and the Yucatan, is the 8th named tropical cyclone in 2017 in the Atlantic basin.

GOES East infrared satellite image (NOAA) of 08/19/2017 showing tropical storm HARVEY in the Caribbean and several tropical waves following behind all the way to the coast of equatorial Africa

In what could be a possible sign of things to come during the approaching peak of the season, there are several tropical waves and areas of disturbed weather following behind HARVEY to the northeast of Puerto Rico and along ‘hurricane alley’ all the way to the eastern Atlantic waters off the coast of equatorial Africa south of the Cape Verde Islands, which could be seeds for potential cyclogenesis in the basin. A possible contributing factor to such potential cyclonic activity could be the rather warm surface waters along ‘Hurricane Alley’, in the Caribbean and the Gulf and other areas of the Atlantic basin.

Image of 08/18/2017 showing rather warm surface waters of the Atlantic, which are reaching 30 Celsius in some areas, mainly along ‘Hurricane Alley’, in the Caribbean and near Florida and the Bahamas, which are an important contributing factor to potential cyclonic activity

On the other side of the continent, over the eastern waters of the north Pacific, the 2017 hurricane season that officially started on 15 May has also been a busy one so far, with eleven named tropical cyclones in 13 weeks. The latest tropical cyclone there is Tropical Storm KENNETH now moving NNW and away from land.

GOES West infrared image (NOAA) of 19 August 2017 showing Tropical Storm KENNETH moving away from land over tye eastern north Pacific off the coast of Mexico

All interest affected by cyclonic activity generated in the Atlantic basin and in the eastern north Pacific sub-basin must pay attention. Get ready. Be prepared. Remain alert. MITIGATE!

IT IS THAT TIME OF THE YEAR: BE PREPARED! MITIGATE!

Today is Saturday 27 May 2017. Just a couple of days ago the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its updated forecast for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season, which officially starts this coming Thursday 1 June 2017.

Available names for tropical cyclones forming in the Atlantic basin during upcoming 2017 hurricane season. (World Meteorological Organization)

NOAA’s forecasters have called for an above average Atlantic season with a possible 17 named-storms this year. An ‘average’ season, if there is such a thing, usually produces 11 named-storms. Just to be ready for what eventually will happen, or not, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has prepared a list of 21 names for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic.

Ocean waters are getting warmer already, having reached 30 degrees Celsius over large areas as shown on this sea surface temperature map of 26 May 2017. (NOAA)

While NOAA’s forecast has several caveats regarding the various factors that may contribute to this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, such as whether or not El Niño will stay away, we are already seeing some of the contributors begin to fall in place. For example, the tropical waters in the northern Atlantic are already getting rather warm, with sea surface waters over large  regions reaching 30˚ C, thus the heat energy content of the ocean is conducive to feeding tropical cyclones.

Several storms cells and areas of disturbed weather are already present in regions of the tropical northern Atlantic as seen in the GOES EAST satellite view of 05/27/2017 (NOAA)

We are also seeing the trains of tropical waves over equatorial Africa, ‘hurricane alley’, and the eastern Pacific starting to line-up north of the equator as they march toward the west. A sign that conditions are favorable for thunderstorm and rain cell formation, another contributor to cyclogenesis.

The train of tropical waves over Equatorial Africa, marching west toward the Atlantic, is already in place. (NOAA)

Elsewhere, we have already had the first named-storm  of the 2017 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season, tropical storm ADRIAN formed on 10 May 2017 off the Pacific coasts of Central America and Southern Mexico becoming the earliest named-storm of record in that basin. Farther west, over the northwestern Pacific near the Philippines there are currently two large areas of disturbed weather that are showing some potential for tropical cyclone formation.

Tropical storm ADRIAN became the earliet named-storm of record over the northern eastern Pacific, when it formed last 10 May 2017 off the coasts of Central America and Southern Mexico (NOAA)

So, it is that time of the year in the northern tropics.  The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is right upon us, ready for its ‘official’ starting date of 1 June 2017. Beyond the Atlantic, conditions appear already favorable for tropical cyclone generation throughout the Pacific ocean, to the northern Indian ocean and the Arabian sea.

It is time to be prepared, and remain alert. It is time TO MITIGATE!