Tag Archives: the Philippines

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!

HURRICANE SEASON 2018: THE ATLANTIC WAKES UP!

Earlier this year predictions called for a rather active 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season, but as an incipient ENSO began to show off the Pacific coast of Peru and Ecuador and other contributing factors became evasive, predictions were changed to a “somewhat below average” to “average” season, whatever “average” means.

The reality of tropical cyclone activity in 2018 in the Earth’s northern hemisphere is that while the Northwest Pacific has already seen 23 named-storms, some of them ferocious category 5 cyclones, and the East Pacific is already up to 15 named-storm, the Atlantic basin has been somewhat quiet with  barely six named-storm by early September until FLORENCE, number 7, appeared over the eastern Atlantic but soon encountered an adverse ocean-atmosphere environment and wind shear, which weakened considerably putting in doubt its future progress.

Full Disk – Clean Longwave Window – IR

As of today all of that has changed, FLORENCE is regaining strength and may possibly become a major hurricane as it continues to move toward the Carolinas on the east coast, while two other tropical storms HELENE and ISAAC have formed over the far eastern Atlantic. At the same time, a low pressure system moves over Bermuda ahead of Florence, and a menacing looking tropical wave over equatorial Africa continues moving westward toward the Atlantic just south of the Cape Verde islands, and a large cell of disturbed weather is on the march in the Caribbean. So, as of this Saturday 8 September we have reached nine named-storm and there is plenty of fuel for additional cyclonic activity in the Atlantic basin.

Projected track of FLORENCE as of 8 September 2018

All interests in and around the north Atlantic basin must monitor these named tropical cyclones closely over the next few days, and be on the alert for other potential cyclonic activity in days to come. Be prepared! MITIGATE!

Projected Hurricane OLIVIA as of 8 September 2018 has it aiming for Hawaii

Elsewhere, hurricane OLIVIA appears to be aiming for Hawaii, which is still recovering from the brush with LANE just a couple of weeks ago. Farther to the west, Typhoon MANGKHUT is moving over the northwest Pacific in the general direction of the northern Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan. This is a region that has already seen several landfalling tropical cyclones causing plenty of damage and human suffering.