Pacific storms; light posting

Couple of storms in the Pacific, Maliksi will be zipping by Japan as a tropical storm over the next couple of days, shouldn’t be much of a problem for anyone aside from rain bands away from the core.  On the other side of the Pacific, Hurricane Aletta is away from land off the coast of Mexico.  The Atlantic should be quiet next week.

Posting will be light for a while as we regroup for the Atlantic and West Pacific seasons and do some software upgrades to better enable public access to the Earthquake and Volcano hazards data, as well as improved Tropical Cyclone graphics. Yes.  That is what we are doing.

OK, we admit it, we’re taking time off for the World Cup …

This is why you don’t get excited about forecasts …

So TD#5 in the West Pacific, recall what the forecast looked looked like Saturday, now compare to today, when the forecast barely makes it to minimal tropical storm strength before a direct landfall on Hainan Island.  The main risk is probably rain …

Elsewhere, the system off the Central America coast is getting a better organized and will likely become a storm this week.  Kilauea continues to erupt, and is now joined by an eruption of Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala that has unfortunately killed at least 25. Here is a shot of the area from satellite this morning just before sunrise, you can actually see it among the city lights:

And how many somewhat active volcanoes are there in Guatemala?  A bunch – it’s part of the Pacific “Ring of Fire” …

Tropical Update, Saturday 2 June 2018

Only one actual system, in the South China Sea heading passing the west side of Hainan Island on Tuesday, then slowing down a lot and approaching the Guangxi coast by Thursday.  The Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast has it becoming a tropical storm  by that time; on that track impacts are on the order of $25 Million, but a wobble or intensity increase makes that estimate pretty much useless at this point …

Elsewhere is quiet.  Might get something in the East Pacific (off Mexico) next week.  A few scattered earthquakes, all below magnitude 6.  The Kilauea volcano in Hawai’i is still active, with one fountain still spraying lava over 100 feet in the air, down from 260 feet a few days ago.  Think about how much power it takes to jet water a few hundred feet, much less hot molten rock …

Atlantic Hurricane Season starts, activity in the West Pacific

There is an “invest” area in the West Pacific.  For those of you not familiar with hurricane/tropical terminology, “invest” areas are disturbances that forecasters are watching that may (or may not!) spin up into a storm.  They got the name because “investigation” is too long to fit in the old teletype based name fields, and most meteorologists are both lazy and bad typists 😛 .  Here is a visual band image from a polar orbiter from this morning, and a forecast map based on the GFS global weather model …

There is also an area of interest south of Mexico the models seem to think might become something.  Be careful about getting too excited about the specifics of longer range models tracking storms – especially “invest” areas – and extremely skeptical of sources that promote them! There are a lot of complex technical reasons why they can be wrong in a given situation.  It’s hard enough to interpret models when there is a real storm there – it’s much worse when there isn’t even a storm yet!

The Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico should be quiet the next 5 days.  Today is the start of the “official” Atlantic hurricane season and the more active part of the Northern Hemisphere hurricane season in general.  Of course, nature doesn’t much care about human calendars, and there have been storms in every month of the year, but the vast majority of Atlantic storms occur between June and November.  The East Pacific (off the west coast of Mexico) starts earlier, 15 May, and the West Pacific (the Asia side) May to October.

If you are in a hurricane prone area, you should know the drill by now, but check the advice at DHS for a basic checklist: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes