95L poses no threat to land as tropics remain quiet

A non-tropical low pressure area, designated 95L, is the only area on the NHC’s tracking map worth noting this morning. It is located well out in the subtropical Atlantic, far from land areas. Even though it has gale force winds and some convective activity, it lacks a well organized warm core and is moving over progressively cooler sea surface temperatures. Even if it were to become a subtropical storm, it will continue to move to the northeast and not bother any land areas.

The rest of the tropical Atlantic through the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico are, for the most part, nice and quiet. There is a notable increase in convection in the Caribbean which is partly due to the favorable MJO pulse moving through coupled with a tropical wave passing across the region. There is some chance for this energy to eventually develop in the western Gulf of Mexico later this week but I see nothing to suggest a major problem.

In the east Pacific, a large disturbance is moving eastward not far off the coast of Mexico. It has some potential for additional development before moving inland over Mexico later this week, bringing with it more heavy rains for the region.

Hurricane season begins with no areas of concern

Today is the official start to the Atlantic hurricane season, but you already knew that. After Alberto and Beryl, today seems anti-climactic in some ways. Nature does not go by man made calendars, that much is certain.

As we look at the tropics today, all is quiet in terms of anything developing in the Atlantic or east Pacific. Even though water temps are warm enough in most areas, it takes more than just warm water to create a tropical cyclone. As we begin the hurricane season, I invite you to watch our video tutorial on understanding tropical cyclones and their hazards.

Florida Rains

Florida Rains

If you live in south Florida, it has been wet as of late. This is due to a piece of energy getting pushed out ahead of a trough of low pressure moving across the Gulf of Mexico. The result has been fairly heavy rain originating from clusters of showers and storms moving generally eastward across the Gulf. This region is favored this time of year for development but conditions do not support that at this time. However, off and on heavy bursts of rain will continue to move across the southern part of Florida for the next day or two before a more normal pre-summer pattern sets in.

Welcome to 2012 and the all new HurricaneTrack!

Way back in 1999, I posted the very first update to this site when tropical storm Arlene formed. I termed it “commentary” and have used that moniker ever since. Today, I say goodbye to the venerable commentary and hello to the much more modern blog. Yes, I am now a blogger and this is my first official post.

So, where do I start? How about the look and feel (and functionality) of the site. The most significant change is the use of WordPress. Thanks to a nice little push from Ilene Jones who is the CEO of KittyCode (remember that name, it will be important later), I finally moved in to the advanced world of having a WordPress powered site. I was skeptical at fist; resistant to change. But after playing with several themes and learning what’s what, I settled in and have become quite comfortable with the new technology (new to me anyway).

The real power of the new site will be our ability to post blogs more efficiently. Our team can now post their own content without cumbersome FTP and HTML writing. Hard to believe that’s how things were done for over 12 years. What’s really nice is that we can post under categories, including off-season topics such as severe weather, Nor’easters and other disruptive weather events. After all, being aware is critical and we have a great team- why not utilize that talent pool even when it’s not hurricane season?

You will have access to blogs from our entire team and will be able to interact directly with them here or through their own social networking links. This will really help to provide a more rounded level of information from Mike, Jesse, Greg, Todd and me. I hope to add some guest bloggers to the list as well- perhaps an up and coming hurricane forecaster or an expert in some area of hurricane preparedness, mitigation or recovery. There really is no limit to what we can do now by utilizing the power of WordPress.

When we head out on our field missions to cover tropical storm and hurricane landfall events, this homepage will disappear- to be replaced by a special edition of the homepage with the free Ustream player embedded. The simplified “mission mode” homepage will provide our visitors with a live look at where we are and what we’re seeing/hearing. We’ll also embed our Twitter and Facebook feeds on to this page for continuous short posts throughout the event. With this plan in place, we can continue to provide free live video to visitors of the site while we also maintain our dedication to our private clients (our Client Services members) and those utilizing our new iPhone app. Once the mission is over, this homepage will return and the blogging will begin again.

You will notice too that you now have the ability to post comments to the blog posts. I will try this out but have a fear that it could get out of hand sooner rather than later. While I will hope and encourage relevant and useful feedback, there is an ever-present layer of troll scum that graces the Internet, always waiting for a chance to spout off with nothing more than grade school level non-sense and even hatred. If this becomes a chronic problem, I will disable comments and reserve them only for our subscribers. We shall see- this will be an interesting experiment to say the least.

The other big news of the New Year is our up and coming iPhone app. We are finally getting in to the mobile app business and ours will be an exciting addition to the world of weather/hurricane apps. Remember that I mentioned Ilene from Kitty Code? Her company, who produces the phenomenally successful Hurricane and HurricaneHD apps, is working with us to design HurricaneTrack for iPhone. Instead of writing about it in this post, check out the full description here. We anticipate the release date to be sometime in late March or early April but certainly before the hurricane season begins. I am very excited about this new feature and am honored to be working with KittyCode to make it happen. I will keep you posted on the progress and the expected release date of the app.

So that’s about it for now. We have a lot of work to do in the off-season and we all know it will go by quickly. I truly appreciate the people who visit this site and look forward to interacting via a whole new medium with this new WordPress site. Remember, hurricanes are very serious. We take them seriously and will do all we can to put our years of experience in tracking them, being right there at landfall and dealing with their aftermath to help you better understand what you may be up against. Don’t forget that we will discuss non-hurricane related weather events here and, from time to time, will stream live through our Ustream channel during such events when possible. Have a wonderful New Year and stay safe! We can’t do this without YOU!