Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tropical Depression FIVE-E Forms in East Pacific; No Threat to Land

Tropical Depression FIVE-E has formed in the East Pacific, and currently poses no threat to land. FIVE-E is forecast by the official National Hurricane Center forecast to move east-northeast farther into the Pacific Ocean before continuing to strengthen.

FIVE-E could very well strengthen into a fair hurricane, though it will luckily pose no threat to land. The few statistical models available depict a Category 1 hurricane coming out of this, which could become a borderline Category 2 tropical system.


Hurricane Daniel May Threaten Hawaii Waters

Hurricane Daniel continues to spin in the East Pacific, with winds at 90 MPH- equivalent to a moderate Category 1 hurricane.

The official National Hurricane Center forecast calls for Daniel to continue on a steady track eastward, and this track could affect the waters near Hawaii in several days. However, at that point, the forecast does call for significant weakening into a post-tropical depression. It should be noted, however, that a lot of time stands between now and the possible threat to Hawaii.

A suite of forecast models for Daniel suggest that the hurricane could move closer to Hawaii and actually make landfall. But once again, remember that a lot of time remains until this possible solution.


Drought Now Covers a Record 56% of the Country

A record 56% of the nation is under an official drought, a record for the recording history of the Drought Monitor. Just over three-quarters of the nation is under conditions that are approaching drought status, defined as D1-D4 on the map, which is a beige color.

The drought has been very much enhanced by the historical ridge of high pressure that has been keeping storms to the very ends of the US, shown by the deep drought present in the Southern US.

Relief from the heat is on the horizon, however relief from the drought will not soon come to the Western US, although the Eastern US may reap some benefits of increased precipitation. I can see a potential relapse opportunity into the hot temperatures and high pressure system for the East if the Madden-Julian Oscillation is able to overcome increasingly present El Nino conditions throughout the atmosphere.


Kelvin Wave Traversing Equatorial Pacific

Underwater temperature anomalies indicate that a Kelvin wave is currently moving across the equatorial Pacific, and has been for a few months now. Higher than normal temperature anomalies are being observed between 130E and roughly 160W in association with this Kelvin wave.

A Kelvin wave involves an enhanced, warm body of water moving across the equatorial Pacific, showing up as a body of warm water slowly moving eastward. These Kelvin waves can be signs of oncoming El Ninos, which is not surprising considering the atmosphere is in an El Nino state.

This Kelvin wave appears to be weakening, as shown in the May-June frames in the image above. Whether this weakening trend will continue remains to be seen.