Tag Archives: Yucatan

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!

Carlos reaches hurricane strength

Satellite image of 13 June 2015 showing hurricane CARLOS under visible light [NASA]
Satellite image of 13 June 2015 showing hurricane CARLOS under visible light [NASA]

Tropical cyclone CARLOS, the 3rd named storm of the 2015 East Pacific hurricane season reached hurricane strength earlier today off the coast of Mexico. The hurricane is generating sustained 120 kph winds, with  higher gusts, while its track has shifted slightly to the east.

Projected track of hurricane CARLOS as of 13 June [Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory]
Projected track of hurricane CARLOS as of 13 June [Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory]

The new projected track of hurricane Carlos will take it closer to the coastline of Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta than previously anticipated and toward the Gulf of California earlier this coming week. Because of its slow forward motion this storm has the potential for causing significant damage by way of coastal flooding, including instances of flash floods, because of the copious rain it is generating over the region.

Infrared GOES EAST satellite image [NOAA] of 13 June showing  the low pressure system generating copious rain and stormy weather over a vast region from southern Mexico and the northwestern Caribbean to Central America and Panama
Infrared GOES EAST satellite image [NOAA] of 13 June showing the low pressure system generating copious rain and stormy weather over a vast region from southern Mexico and the northwestern Caribbean to Central America and Panama

Hurricane Carlos is paralleled by a low pressure system of the east coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico, that is generating stormy weather and vast amounts of rain over the Yucatan Peninsula, southern Mexico, and most of Central America and the central and northwestern Caribbean basin. This system is traversing the Yucatan peninsula and it is expected to emerge over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico where in may intensify under a favorable ocean-atmosphere environment.

While Mexico experiences impacts of both coastlines, and Central America continues to suffer extreme rain events and instances of flooding that have already caused significant damage to buildings and infrastructure as well as death by drowning,  there is plenty of fuel for potential further adverse weather activity in coming days, in the form of storm cells pushing westward along ‘hurricane alley’, pushed by tropical waves emerging from Equatorial Africa over the eastern Atlantic.

All interests in the Caribbean basin, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Central America  and Mexico must monitor these systems closely, remaining always alert and prepared, and engaged in the practice of mitigation!