East Pacific hurricane season begins today plus an update on the Gulf disturbance

Eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures are running above the long-term average in areas north of the Equator. This may have an influence on the season by allowing for more development than normal.

Eastern Pacific sea surface temperatures are running above the long-term average in areas north of the Equator. This may have an influence on the season by allowing for more development than normal.

It is mid-May and that means the east Pacific hurricane season officially begins. The National Hurricane Center in Miami produces forecast products and outlooks for the eastern Pacific out to 140 degrees west longitude.

The list of names for the east Pacific region are different than those used for the Atlantic Basin. In fact, the eastern north Pacific’s list uses all 21 letters of the alphabet where as the Atlantic omits Q,U,X,Y and Z. The first name that will be used in the eastern Pacific this season is Aletta; so far, we have had one short-lived tropical depression but no named storms as of yet.

I will discuss any development potential for the east Pacific in my blog and social media posts and within my video discussions. Obviously, the main threat from tropical storms and hurricanes forming in this region will be to the Pacific coast of Central America, including Mexico and even the Southwest United States as we often see the remnants of dying tropical cyclones move in to the region; bringing heavy rain and the potential for serious flooding.

Sometimes an east Pacific hurricane will track far enough west to bring impacts to the islands of Hawaii. It is rare to see any significant wind but rain and large waves are not that uncommon depending upon how busy the east Pacific is. According to the NHC, an average season sees 15 named storms with eight of them becoming hurricanes, four of those eight hurricanes go on to become major – or category three or higher.

Right now, the region is quiet with no areas of potential development anytime soon.

Gulf disturbance not going to develop further

The system in the eastern Gulf of Mexico that we’ve been watching over the past few days is not showing any signs of getting better organized. Water temps are generally too cool still and overall the environment is just not conducive for much to happen.

That being said, there is plenty of moisture associated with this system and periods of heavy rain will continue for parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. It may take a few more days before the broad area of low pressure moves inland over the western Florida panhandle.

Outside of that, there isn’t anything else of note going on in the Atlantic Basin which is typical and expected this time of year. We might see an enhancement of convection or thunderstorm activity in the vicinity of Central America as a more favorable upper level pattern evolves over the next week or so. It is too far out in time for the global models to be considered reliable and as such, we will just wait and see as the pattern changes over time.

I will post a video discussion covering all of these topics and more later this afternoon.

M. Sudduth 9:20 AM ET May 15


Not quite hurricane season but getting close

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1 for the Atlantic Basin and May 15 (as in tomorrow) for the east Pacific. We’ve already had one tropical depression form outside of the Pacific season and may add one in the Gulf of Mexico before the week is out.

I have posted a video discussion outlining all of this and more, including the latest look at the SOI and how that relates to my thoughts concerning El Nino for the season ahead.

M. Sudduth 10:10 AM ET May 14

Harvey producing catastrophic flooding, PTC #10 develops off Carolinas

From Meteorologist Zack Fradella as of 5 p.m. central time:

Tropical Storm Harvey continues to dump feet of rain on Southeast Texas and the metropolitan Houston area, meanwhile a new system is expected to develop off the Carolinas for the start of the new week.

Harvey has produced between 20-30″ of rain in the past 24-48 hrs across a large portion of Southeast Texas where an additional two feet of rain is possible over the next few days as Harvey slowly meanders back offshore. It’s now becoming a reality that Harvey will move back off the Texas coast on Monday and could restrengthen slightly before making a second landfall near Galveston on Wednesday. As the storm sits offshore, heavy rain bands will continue to spill into Texas and Louisiana causing even more widespread flooding.

Mark is covering the flooding in Houston and placed a camera along 610 where Braeswood crosses underneath near Brays Bayou.

Brays Bayou at 610/Braeswood Live Cam

The National Hurricane Center states that as much as 50″ of rain are possible when all is said and done. Harvey is not expected to dissipate until it moves far enough inland which is not expected to occur until the end of this week.

Off the Carolinas is Potential Tropical Cyclone #10 which was labeled as of the 4 p.m. CT advisory from the National Hurricane Center. This system is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Irma on Monday but remain a weak tropical storm as it tracks right along the South Carolina and North Carolina coastal areas on Monday and Tuesday. By midweek the storm will quickly be moving out to sea where little strengthening is expected. The coastal areas of the Carolinas has the potential to receive  a few inches of rain but no major impacts are expected.

Harvey slowly weakening as the flood phase begins

From Meteorologist Zack Fradella as of 12 p.m. central time:

Hurricane Harvey is now inland after making landfall around 10 p.m. central time on Friday night as an intense Category 4 hurricane. The storm made landfall just east of Rockport, Texas and is now the first Category 4 storm to hit the United States since Charley in 2004 and the first major strike since Wilma in 2005.

As of the 10 a.m. CT advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the storm remains a hurricane with winds of 75 mph. The storm is expected to slowly weaken to a tropical storm by Saturday evening. Now that phase 1 of Harvey is winding down as the wind and storm surge subside, our attention turns to phase 2 which is the extensive flood risk coming for the next week.

The National Hurricane Center forecast very little motion to Harvey over the next 5 days. This will lead to days of heavy rain potential for south-central and southeast Texas which could expand into portions of Louisiana as we go into next week. Between 15-30″ of rain are expected over a large area which will lead to the possibility of life-threatening flooding.

Here are some of highest wind gusts reported a time of landfall: 132 mph Port Aransas, 125 mph Copano Village, 83 mph Victoria, 63 mph Corpus Christi

Mark is currently enroute to retrieve the pod in Port O’Connor and will then be heading to Houston for flood coverage.

As they travel back towards Houston today they will document as much damage as possible and post it to our Twitter feed. Follow them on Twitter: @hurricanetrack

If you are using our app, all of our Twitter posts are contained in the app for convenience.

Harvey not gone – likely to strengthen again over Gulf, threaten Texas as a hurricane

Remember tropical storm Harvey? It made its way across the open Atlantic as a tropical wave and became a tropical storm just before reaching the Windward Islands a few days ago – bringing flooding rains to Barbados especially. Then, it died away, almost.

The low level energy associated with Harvey has remained very much intact and is now over the Yucatan peninsula, poised to emerge in to the Bay of Campeche later tonight. From there, computer models strongly suggest that it will strengthen and perhaps to hurricane intensity. This is concerning since it will be doing so while moving towards land, possibly Texas and/or northeast Mexico. The time frame from it becoming a depression again to hurricane strength may be short and people along the coast may not realize what’s coming.

I have produced a video discussion covering this topic plus a look at 92L (which is not likely to do very much in the coming days). Check out the video below and note that I will have another one posted early this afternoon:

M. Sudduth 10:15 AM ET Aug 22