Some interesting cyclonic events are taking place in the northern tropics on this Friday 28 July 2017.
A set of twin tropical cyclones, HILARY and IRWIN (See our posting of 25 July), appear to be in a collision course midway between Mexico and Hawaii in the Pacific. Now downgraded to tropical storm strength Hilary is moving WNW while nearby to its southwest Irwin is tracking NNW putting these tropical cyclones on a course for potential interaction over the next day or so. Both Hilary and Irwin are packing maximum sustained winds of 110-115 kph posing no threat to land.
Farther to the west, over the Philippines sea a strengthening Typhoon NESAT is starting to brush past the Northern Philippines as it aims for Taiwan. At the same time, Typhoon NORU is over the northwestern Pacific making a turn toward the NNW to the east of Japan. So, this makes for four active named-tropical cyclones over the northern Pacific basin, in addition to several areas of disturbed weather and tropical waves throughout the basin that may be seeds for further cyclonic activity in coming days.
Of interest to us here in South Florida, and to others throughout the Caribbean, Central America, the Gulf and the Atlantic seaboard of the U.S.A., is a tropical wave located approximately 1000 kilometers southwest of the Cape Verde Islands that has been designated as INVEST 97L by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center while monitoring it for possible cyclonic development over coming days.
Farther to the east over waters of the Eastern Atlantic and Equatorial Africa there is a train of tropical waves, including one rather large and strong storm, moving westward toward Hurricane Alley. There is plenty of seeds that may fuel cyclogenesis in that region over the next few days. All interests in our neck-of-the-woods will do well to pay attention, remain alert, and be prepared! MITIGATE!
The ‘twin evils’ of typhoon GONI and ATSANI continue moving over the northwest Pacific Ocean. Typhoon GONI brushed past the northern Philippines and Taiwan and it is now aiming for southern Japan and the Korean peninsula. Typhoon ATSANI has made a turn toward the north and now the northeast as it continues to track parallel to the east coast of Japan posing no direct threat to land.
Projected track for typhoon ATSANI [courtesy of the U.S. Naval Research laboratory] as of 08/23/2015
This cyclonic activity over the northwest Pacific is now joined by tropical storm LOKE to the west of Hawaii over the central Pacific ocean, which has seen plenty of disturbed weather activity in recent days, as a swarm of tropical waves and disturbed weather cells move westward after being generated over the eastern Pacific off the coast of Central America and Panama.
While it would appear the west-northwest Pacific basin is having an extremely busy 2015 season in terms of tropical cyclone generation, the reality is that there have been a total of seventeen tropical cyclones affecting the region since MEKKHALA developed in January of this year and hit the Philippines until typhoon ATSANI formed this August. This kind of cyclonic activity is not unusual for that region and it is in fact somewhat below average. We need to wait and see what the next few weeks bring in terms of cyclogenesis to determine what kind of a season 2015 will be in the northwest Pacific ocean.