Lots of storms … two are “interesting”: Monday, 23 September 2019

Lots of storms today: three in the Atlantic, two in the Eastern/Central Pacific, one in the Arabian Sea, and one in the West Pacific. Of the seven active storms at this time, two are worth discussing in detail, Karen (in the Atlantic) and Hikka (in the Arabian Sea).  As for the rest, the East Pacific storms are not major threats at this point.  The West Pacific storm is Typhoon Tapah, a tropical storm strength system dropping rain, disrupting flights, and potentially triggering landslides across Japan today, but damage is light so far.   In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Jerry will likely bring rain and gusty winds to Bermuda, while Tropical Depression 13 is in the far east Atlantic.  It will likely become a tropical storm (named Lorenzo) later today or tomorrow. Tropical Storm Karen is the first of the two “interesting” storms.  It is currently barely a tropical storm, and is moving north towards Puerto Rico (which, along with the Virgin Islands, is under a tropical storm watch).  The main threat is flash flooding and landslides along steeper slopes, along with some gusty winds that, given the fragile electrical infrastructure, will cause power outages and light damage  Here is the impact swath map …

What makes this interesting (and likely the subject of chatter amongst those inclined to do so) is the stall, strengthening, followed by a turn to the west on day 4 or 5 of the forecast.  Some of the models even show a loop south of Bermuda.  The track guidance of the major models (highlighted in color below) are pretty scattered, and if you toss in the secondary models and ensembles, it’s a mess.  So what to do?  Wait and see … and not get too excited about it, unless you ate all your tuna and crackers waiting for the last storm, in which case restock your kit when you get a chance.

Finally, as if the region needed any more drama, Cyclone Hikaa is in the northern Arabian sea, and is headed towards the coast of Oman. It will disrupt tanker traffic trying to enter or leave the Persian Gulf a little.  The biggest threat is for flash floods; past storms have caused significant damage to refineries and piplelines across the southern Arabian peninsula from that source.  It will likely, as a post-tropical system, dump rain across war ravaged Yemen.  Here’s the forecast swath map …

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