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

 

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