Hurricane Season Start Up

Technically, hurricane season has been going for a while now but I’ve not found any reason to start discussing disturbing weather until now. And, we have two items of interest. First, a storm is blowing up off the east coast of Florida. This is a tropical storm forming in the western Atlantic. That is not particularly strange. Most years, however, storms form by the time the associated wave has reached the middle of the Atlantic, or at least, are far enough along that you can think of tropical storm formation in the Atlantic as a phenomenon directly linked to West Africa and the eastern Atlantic. I haven’t yet verified this, but it seems to me that in a given year either zero or a fair number of storms form in the gulf or the western Atlantic. Maybe we are having one of those years. Anyway, this storm is called 98L and there will possibly be something going on there by mid week.

Meanwhile, in the western Pacific, there is a full-on typhoon heading towards Japan. Ma-on is a Cat Three storm and it will graze the east coas of Honshu in two days. It may cycle through Cat Four size and then back to Cat Three size by that time. The storm is huge. It may in fact have little impact on Japan as Japan will be on the trailing wing; Anything far asea to the east of Japan, on the right side of the storm’s eye, will be hit with a fairly high surge and strong winds, most likely. While the storm is at its strongest, this means basically nothing because there are no islands in that region, but after the storm turns east-northeast on Tuesday, it will cross a line of islands.

Info on Ma-on is here.

Comments

  1. #1 harrync
    July 17, 2011

    Occasionally the Weather Channel runs a map showing where in the Atlantic storms are most likely to form for a given week of the hurricane season. Generally, they form in the western Atlantic [including the Gulf] early in the season, off the coast of Africa late in the season. It just occurred to me they may have these maps on their web site [weather.com] – I’ll have to go check.

  2. #2 harrync
    July 17, 2011

    Yes, the hurricane point of origin maps are there [based on 10 day intervals, not weeks] at weather.com. Just click on ‘Hurricane Central” when it drops down from “Severe Weather”.

  3. #3 Greg laden
    July 17, 2011

    I’ve got every Atlantic track record map in a dir here somewhere. Just have not had a chance to look. Will blog later.

  4. #4 Bacopa
    July 18, 2011

    I’m actually hoping for a tropical storm or hurricane to hit southeast Texas pretty soon. We need the rain. Plus I want Rick Perry’s prayer meeting to be canceled.

    Rita was a disaster. Everyone freaked out and there was meyham on the highways. Ike reshaped the shoreline and killed people, but I had fun during Ike. I had power at home after two days, but my workplace was out for a week. We worked half days when the morning sun came through the windows and then we partied. We learned from the Rita debacle and everything was quite orderly during Ike.

    Allison was much worse. That storm formed just off the coast and hit us on a Tuesday, went back out to sea and hit us again on Friday with 20 inches of rain. Moved back out to sea and plastered Louisiana and made it overland to Philadelphia.

    We really need a couple of tropical storms here in Texas. And we need one to cancel Perry’s rally.

  5. #5 Eric Lund
    July 18, 2011

    There are at least three ways to produce a hurricane, at least in the North Atlantic. Most hurricanes that form during the peak hurricane season (August/September/early October) form, as you say, from tropical waves originating in Africa. But you can also form hurricanes at the edges of stalled-out cold fronts; 98L, now Tropical Storm Bret, is such a case, as was Cyclone Catarina in the South Atlantic. Early and late season North Atlantic hurricanes tend to be of this type, and they tend to form in the Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean/western Atlantic because that’s where the waters are warmest in the North Atlantic basin. There are also cases where extratropical lows transition to tropical systems; it was found in retrospect that the Perfect Storm of 1991 was briefly a hurricane before transitioning back to an extratropical system.

    I don’t know about other basins. I would think a tropical wave like generating mechanism exists for the Western Pacific, as many storm tracks there seem to follow paths that differ from Cape Verde systems mainly in longitude. There might also be such a mechanism in the South Pacific and South Indian oceans. There is no such mechanism operating in the South Atlantic (one of the reasons tropical storms are so rare there), and most of the North Indian ocean systems seem to generate other than via tropical waves (these storms often seem to start out moving northward rather than westward).