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

Quiet Atlantic as we watch powerful hurricane Fernanda in the Pacific

This will be short and to the point. The Atlantic Basin is very quiet right now which is typical for this time period of July. I see nothing within the major global models, nor in the general background state of things, to suggest that we will see development anytime soon. As I said, this is well within the reasonable climatological norm for this time of year.

Hurricane Fernanda in the eastern Pacific - NHC tracking map

Hurricane Fernanda in the eastern Pacific – NHC tracking map

On the other hand, a strong hurricane is moving westward in the eastern Pacific and it could get stronger. The NHC is tracking Fernanda which is located over 1000 miles southwest of the Baja peninsula. Top winds are 130 mph and we could see some additional strengthening as the hurricane moves over generally warm water with favorable upper level winds.

For now, Fernanda will just be a satellite novelty to watch since it is so far from land. We’ll see how close it manages to get to Hawaii many days down the road but almost always, hurricanes coming in from the east do not bring much in the way of impacts to the String of Pearls. Hopefully, this hurricane will not break the rules.

I will have more here on Monday including an in-depth video discussion covering topics from SST anomalies to the current state of the El Nino (or lack thereof) plus a look ahead at the next week to ten days. Have a great weekend.

M. Sudduth 6:15 pm ET July 14

Hurricane Dora in east Pacific to be short-lived, no threat to Mexico

Hurricane Dora track map from the NHC

Hurricane Dora track map from the NHC

It took a littler longer than we’ve seen in recent years, but the east Pacific finally has its first hurricane of the season: Dora.

Top winds are 85 mph and it is forecast to strengthen more as it moves west-northwest off the coast of Mexico. Fortunately, the small size of the hurricane will mean that very little impact will be felt along the Pacific coast of Mexico.

The forecast from the National Hurricane Center indicates a steady track to the west-northwest which will bring the hurricane over cooler waters, ultimately leading to its demise later this week. In fact, sea surface temperatures in the region are running below the long-term average by almost a full degree Celsius. This will equate to a quick weakening trend as the hurricane moves farther out in to the open Pacific.

In the Atlantic Basin, all is quiet for now. I will have a new video discussion posted later this afternoon which will address topics such as the weekly SST anomalies, current ENSO update and a look back at tropical storm Cindy and its impacts to the Gulf Coast and inland areas of the Southeast.

M. Sudduth 10:40 AM ET June 26

Atlantic hurricane season begins today

Here we are again, it’s June 1 and that means it is hurricane season. A lot has been said in recent weeks about what kind of season we may have. While it appears that conditions would support a busy season, it is just too tough to know with much certainty how things will turn out. Even if we have a lot of hurricane activity, there’s no way to know where they will track. It is always best to just stay aware and be ready no matter what.

Since it is hurricane season now, the video discussions will be pretty much every day. I’ll post them here and of course they will be in our app, Hurricane Impact, and on YouTube (search hurricanetrack).

In today’s video I go over the latest on east Pacific tropical storm Beatriz and its effects on Mexico and some potential for it to redevelop somewhere within the Gulf of Mexico early next week. I also break down the latest SST anomalies and a look at recent ENSO thoughts as we begin the season.

M. Sudduth 4:30 PM ET June 1