Tag Archives: the Yucatan

The Caribbean and Eastern East Pacific Flare-up on 5 June 2011!

On the fifth day of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season the region of disturbed weather that has lingered for the past few weeks at the junction of Panama and South America appears to be expanding into the Caribbean and the eastern east Pacific. The GOES satellite image [courtesy of NASA] for the aviation industry taken on 5 June 2011, shown below, illustrates:

satellite image for the aviaion industry on 5 June 2011 at 14:45 DST.”]There are two strong and distinct cells of disturbed weather in the Caribbean, just east of Jamaica centered on an area of low pressure, and in the eastern east Pacific off the coast of Central America and Mexico, which can be seen on the color-enhanced infrared GOES satellite image [courtesy of NASA] on 5 June 2011 shown below:

GOES color-enhanced infrared image on 5 June 2011

The solid yellow outlines on the image above identify the two areas of low pressure that have generated cells of disturbed weather, thunderstorms and heavy rain over the Caribbean and the eastern east Pacific. The Caribbean cell is moving northwest by north and is already causing heavy rains over Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and portions of Cuba. Both these cells are being monitoredby the National Hurricane Center and NOAA’s Tropical Prediction Center for potential further development over the next 24-48 hours. Although the eastern east Pacific cell is  moving away from the continental landmass, the combination of both cells has generated some rain over the Yucatan peninsula, especially Quintana Roo state in Mexico, which have been under drought conditions for some time now. These rains are a welcome development in Quintana Roo where wild fires have affected several areas in the state. The potential for rain nay be as high as 51 mm over the next few hours, as it is illustrated by the regional map shown below:

Satellite view on 5 June 2011 showing potential precipitation over the Caribbean region

In the mean time the area of low pressure and associated storm cell over the eastern east Pacific appears to be getting better organized as it flows over an area of rather warm surface water [30+ Celsius]. Other cells of disturbed weather off the coast  of Nicaragua, and further south near Panama and Colombia and over the northern regions of Colombia and Venezuela appear to be linking with large cells of disturbed weather moving westward over hurricane alley an it is shown on the satellite image below:

GOES satellite image for the aviation industry of the eastern east Pacific region on 5 JUne 2011

While the Caribbean and eastern east Pacific are flaring-up on 5 June 2011, the central Atlantic and especially the far eastern Atlantic are also being affected by large regions of disturbed weather, which are generating rain and thunderstorms. As was expected with the nearing advent of the summer solstice, the tropical wave assembly line over equatorial Africa has become quite active feeding pulse after pulse of tropical activity to hurricane alleyThese tropical waves have the potential for contributing to cyclogenesis [generation of tropical cyclones] as they ride along hurricane alley toward the Caribbean and the central Atlantic. Currently several tropical waves are moving westward along hurricane alley while others form a train of tropical pulses over equatorial Africa as shown on the satellite image below:

Color-enhanced infrared satellite image of the eastern Atlantic on 5 June 2011

An overall picture of all of the conditions described above can be gained from the full-disk composite satellite image of Earth’s western hemisphere on 5 June 2011, which follows:

Full-disk satellite view of Earth's western hemisphere on 5 June 2011

Atmospheric Happenings: October 26 – 27, 2010


Weather map showing the lowest barometric pressure of record not involving a tropical cyclone, as it was recorded on 26 October 2010 at 1129 EDT

Yesterday in the heartland USA National Weather Service meteorologists reported having meassured the lowest atmospheric pressure of record not involving a tropical cyclone; a reading of 956 mb was recorded yesterday at 1129 EST in a sector of the storm front reaching from Alabama to Michigan that moved toward the east spawning tornadoes, rain and thunderstorms across a large region of the country.

This record drop in atmospheric pressure appears to be one more extreme eventof the several we have witnessed in recent years, which at least anecdotally appear to be on the increase. Empirical information points to extreme rain events throughout the country, while in other regions drought continues, also shorter but colder and more violent winters over the past few years, and more tropical cyclones reaching category 5 worldwide or undergoing  rapid intensification on a yearly basis. While this is unscientific as a method for determining if extreme weather events have indeed been increasing, it merits our attention and closer study to see if these are indicators of things to come.

Typhoon CHABA moving toward Japan on 27 October 2010 with sustained winds of 127 mph.

Also over the past couple of days just as we say hurricane-tropical storm-tropical depression Richard go over Belize, Guatemala and the Yucatan peninsula to eventually dissipate over the western Gulf of Mexico, we saw the strengthening of tropical cyclone Chaba into a category 3 typhoon as it aims for some of the most populated areas of Japan. And for the first time in several months during 2010 we see a tropical wave generating south of the equator, this one over the Indian ocean, which appears to be strengthening in route to becoming a tropical cyclone on the next day or two. From all of this we can conclude that the tropics continue to be active even as such activity may be shifting from the northern to the southern hemisphere.

Color enhanced infrared satellite view of the Indian ocean on 27 October 2010 showing a strengthening tropical vae about 10 degrees south of the equator, the first such instantance of potential cyclogenesis south of the equator over the past several months of 2010. This appears to potentially mark the initial stages of the "2011" south Indian Ocean hurricane season.


Satellite view of the Atlantic basin for the aviation industry. Marked by the yellow outlines are the three areas of disturbed weather that are showing some potential for further development, which warrant monitoring in days to come. This view also shows the ares of rain and thunderstorms that have been present over Central America and northern Colombia and Venezuela over the past 3 - 4 months.

Shifting our attention back to the larger Atlantic basin on 27 October 2010 we see three waves of disturbed weather, with some potential for tropical cyclone development, which are active over several areas of the Atlantic including one off the coast of northern Brazil almost straddling the equator.

Looking toward the east we see a continuous chain of tropical waves and areas of rain/thunderstorms reaching from the eastern Pacific just off the coast of Nicaragua all the way through Hurricane Alley, the eastern Atlantic and across equatorial Africa. While most of these cells of disturbed weather are larger than those seen just last week, they also appear to be growing closer to  and even beginning to straddle the equator as the shift in seasons marked by the autumn equinox just about five weeks ago is bringing more on the southern hemisphere under more sun light as time progresses toward the winter solstice and the end of 2010. Are these various tropical waves and cells of disturbed weather over the Atlantic signs of what we may expect from a waning 2010 Atlantic hurricane season? Or just some last flashes of tropical activity that may pose no threat to our interests here in Florida and other Gulf or Atlantic USA coastal regions? Only time will tell, meanwhile we’ll do good to monitor these systems closely, to pay attention! To be prepared!! To MITIGATE!!!

Composite satellite view creating a global mosaic from the eastern Pacific to the Indian Ocean showing water vapor in the atmosphere, on 27 October 2010, which helps us visualize those waves and disturbed weather cells that warrant closer monitoring for signs of potential further development in days to come. Notice the region of rain and thunderstorms over Central America, which appears to have been ever present for the past several months, courtesy of La Nina.