Hurricane Madeline Approaches Hawaii (credit: NWS Honolulu, Hawaii, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, and the NOAA Satellite and Information Service)
Discussion: Hurricane Madeline is currently located 95 miles southeast of Hilo, Hawaii and the Big Island is already being impacted by tropical storm-force winds of 43 mph. Hurricane Madeline is currently a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, (which measures a hurricane’s maximum sustained winds) with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, as it moves off to the west-southwest at 12 mph. Madeline is forecast to pass south of the Hawaiian Islands tonight and tomorrow and will be weakening as it does so. In the satellite image below you can see the eye of the hurricane becoming less defined. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Big Island of Hawaii and specifically in Maui County. Residents of the Big Island and Maui County should be prepared for strong winds, rough surf, and heavy rainfall that can lead to flash floods and mudslides. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across the Central/Eastern Pacific Ocean be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As the tropics begin to quickly awake from their season-long slumber, things are beginning to really fire up quickly with a number of weak low-pressure systems across the tropical Atlantic showing signs of slow organization across the Western Gulf of Mexico, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and parts of the Central to Eastern Caribbean Sea as well. As has been noted repeatedly around social media over the last couple of days, we continue to have strong Tropical Storm Gaston in the East Central Atlantic Ocean as a strong tropical storm. However, based on the recently trending thoughts from forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (located in Miam, Florida), Gaston is expected to become a hurricane sometime during the day tomorrow and ultimately head off to the northeast towards parts of Western Europe.
Having said that, the primary attention is being put on the threat for a tropical cyclone to potentially organize further and strengthen in association with the aforementioned Invest 99L which is currently positioned over the far Eastern Bahamas. Though the environment is currently very unfavorable for further development of this tropical low due to the presence of high wind shear which tears developing thunderstorms near the center of the tropical low's circulation apart which are critical ingredients for tropical cyclone organization and intensification. However, this tropical low is forecast to move into a region which will be more favorable by the Monday/Tuesday timeframe which will be a point at which this tropical low will be monitored much more closely hour-by-hour. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
Japan has been hammered early this week with rain, flooding, and damage from strong winds as a result of passing Typhoons Mindulle and Kompasu, and more is on the way! Currently in the Northwest Pacific near the East China Sea and Taiwan, Typhoon Lionrock is moving southwest at a slow pace toward the Philippines. Weather models have this typhoon, with winds that are characteristic of a Category 3 hurricane, turning around and tracking northeast away from the Philippines before taking a westward turn toward Japan early next week. Timing is uncertain for this shift in direction (i.e., from northeast to northwest) but models are generally agreeing on the initial northeast direction. The image below depicts this forecast, with the bubbles representing where the center of the storm may be. Though the tropical cyclone is currently strong and at typhoon status, conditions are favorable for weakening Lionrock to a Tropical Storm due to increasing vertical wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures. However, with the size of the storm and its’ impacting wind field, caution should be exercised by everyone by preparing for potentially heavy rain, strong and damaging winds, and more flooding. To learn more about other tropical cyclone events, click here!
DISCUSSION: Over the past few hours, there has been a consistent intensification trend associated with a increasingly more organized Tropical Storm Earl. As a strengthening tropical storm continues to make its final approach towards the coast of Belize and ultimately the Western to central portions of the Yucatán Peninsula which is located in Eastern Mexico. As a result of the details noted above, there will be an increasing threat for gusty winds and heavy rainfall capable of collectively producing a threat for mudslides and landslides across much of the eastern portions of Mexico. The future track is likely going to bring Earl over southern portions of the Yucatán Peninsula before a potentially reemerging over the extreme southern portions of the Bay of Campeche for making a second landfall across portions of Central Mexico.
Though Earl remains to be a relatively weak tropical storm on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale (the intensity scale by which hurricanes are categorized), those in the path of the storm should take adequate shelter and preparations for the storm. The reasoning for the concern that still remains is the fact that this tropical storm still has the potential to do plenty of infrastructural and overall damage to towns and cities in its path both during and in the aftermath of its passage!
Attached below is a need graphic as part of a larger series of images as captured by the lower fuselage radar from the NOAA WP-3 aircraft which is currently flying through Earl to acquire critical data to be included in upcoming forecast model runs to enhance the likelihood of improved forecast output to help forecasters produce the best forecast possible for the remaining life-span of this strengthening tropical storm. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across North America, be sure to click here!
DISCUSSION: As of earlier this morning, Tropical Depression Five became sufficiently organized and intense to be named the 5th Tropical Storm of the 2016 Tropical Atlantic Hurricane Season, namely, Tropical Storm Earl. Tropical Storm Earl formed as a result of the aforementioned Tropical Depression Five continuing to move over an area characterized by above-normal sea surface temperatures as well as weak deep-layer wind shear. Thus, this was a particularly favorable region for tropical cyclone development. However, based on the fact that Tropical Storm Earl will be moving into a somewhat less favorable region just to the east of the Yucatán Peninsula (located in Eastern Mexico) over the next 24 to 48 hours, further intensification will be slowed or stopped fairly soon. Having said that, the main threat for the Eastern and Cental Yucatan Peninsula will likely be gusty winds, heavy rainfall, and intense flooding, as well as mudslides and/or landslides. Upon moving through northern sections of the Yucatán Peninsula, Tropical Storm Earl will likely reemerge briefly over the Bay of Campeche before moving into central and northern mainland Mexico where it will likely bring many of the same threats as those seen in the Yucatán Peninsula over the next couple of days. To learn more about other high-impacts weather events from across the Caribbean, be sure to click here!