It is getting late in the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season, already past the traditional historical peak of the annual season, and here we are on 2 October watching a major category 4 Hurricane JOAQUIN that has been hammering the central Bahamas for the past two days.
Because of the interaction of several atmospheric systems over the Atlantic and North America forecasting where JOAQUIN will actually go has been rather difficult. Just a couple of days ago with the hurricane nearly stationary over the Bahamas, panic waves spread along the U.S.A. eastern seaboard as several models traced a track pointing toward New Jersey and New York, and memories of SANDY vividly flashed back for million of residents along the Atlantic coastal region.
More recently the picture has become clearer as the various weather systems have gotten more organized in the atmosphere and a definite path of least resistance has opened. which appears will take JOAQUIN on a northeasterly track paralleling the U.S.A. coastline and most probably avoiding a direct land-falling impact of these still Sandy-traumatized regions.
To the east of JOAQUIN we are watching a disturbance in the central Atlantic that appears to be getting much better organized, and a strong tropical wave just emerging from Equatorial Africa over the eastern Atlantic to the south of the Cape Verde Islands.
So it appears there is still plenty of fuel for potential cyclonic activity in the north Atlantic basin, despite the dampening effects of a strong and still developing El Niño off the Pacific coast of Peru.
Like recently departed New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra used to say “it ain’t over until it is over”, so the prudent course of action for all interest around the basin will be to pay attention, remain alert, be prepared, and above all MITIGATE, as we go through the final stretch of the ‘official’ 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season. Keep in mind, it won’t be over until mother Nature says it is!
Pushed by a strong front moving across the Southeast tropical storm Cristobal made a turn toward the north earlier today, over the southeastern Bahamas. The new forecast track for Cristobal will keep the cyclone farther away from the U.S.A. coastline than initially estimated taking it closer to Bermuda.
Despite its interaction with the front tropical storm Cristobal will encounter conditions favoring further strengthening in the next couple of days as it begins to gradually turn toward the north-northeast and eventually the northeast, so there is a possibility that Cristobal may reach hurricane strength after all.
While the forecast track may keep Cristobal away from the U.S.A. mainland, all interest in Florida and the Atlantic seaboard must remain alert and be prepared for potential impacts along the coastal region.
There is additional potential for cyclonic activity over the Atlantic basin as we look eastward to a couple of tropical waves now riding ‘hurricane alley’, which we should monitor over the next few days.
Slow as the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season has been so far, and may continue to be, it is critically important to keep in mind that all it takes is one hit by a hurricane, regardless of its ultimate intensity, to inflict plenty of damage, possible death and injury, and human suffering.