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

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