Pacific Still Where The Action Is

Good evening everyone,

Well, as usual I’ve been away with other things over the past week. The lull in the Atlantic has a lot to do with it. However, I usually try to at least post some articles by this time. Thank goodness for the blog. Hopefully, this latest tropical depression that formed near the Cape Verde Islands late Monday afternoon will finally get the hurricane blood flowing through my veins again. Speaking of the Cape Verde Islands, when was the last time there has been a Tropical Storm Warning issued for the Cape Verdes? I know that many of the powerful and classic hurricanes form in that part of the world, but they usually don’t issue any warnings for those areas.

Anyway, despite the latest developments in the Tropical Atlantic, which also has another area of disturbed weather moving toward the Lesser Antilles as of this time, the action continues to largely be occurring in the Pacific. First, and foremost, Tropical Storm Hector developed over the past week, and is now just a weak swirl of clouds in the open waters of the Pacific. Once the storms in the Eastern Pacific move away from the Mexican coast, the combination of cooler waters, and lack of any land, makes these storms no longer a threat. In the meantime, another tropical system has been spending this Monday rapidly developing into a storm.

Tropical Storm Ileana, which developed from a vast area of clouds and showers associated with a tropical low in the area of the Gulf of Tehuantepec, has winds of 40 mph, and is getting its act together in a hurry. Looking at the satellite, Ileana has developed a decent core of convection, and appears to have nice outflow, particularly in the southern semicircle. So, expect the National Hurricane Center to upgrade this system in the next advisory or two. But, that’s not all of it as far as the Pacific is concerned. While there isn’t much to talk about in the very busy Western Pacific on this evening, we have a major hurricane in the Central Pacific.

Hurricane Ioke, is presently moving to the southwest of the Hawaiian Island chain. Maximum sustained winds are 115 mph, which makes it a major hurricane at Category Three strength on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Despite the fact that the satellite imagery depicts a ragged northern semicircle, Ioke, has a tight well defined eye, and it is expected to intensify according to the latest info from the Weather Channel. Ioke is forecast to turn to the Northwest, and threaten Johnston Island in the Central Pacific.

With the development of Ioke in the Central Pacific, memories come to mind of another major hurricane that rampaged through the Hawaiian islands nearly 15 years ago. Hurricane Iniki, which was a powerful hurricane with 140 mph winds, which made it a Category Four Hurricane. The storm, which moved right over the island of Kauai on September 11, 1992, was the first hurricane to affect the island chain since the 1982 season, and the first major hurricane to strike there since the year Hawaii earned statehood. Many people forget about Iniki because of the massive impact Hurricane Andrew had on the economy and collective psyche of South Florida only a few weeks earlier.

These latest developments in both the Eastern and Central Pacific continue to support the notion that we may be entering an El Nino cycle. Could the activity in the Atlantic be affected by all this action? Well, perhaps because the outflow from the systems in the Eastern Pacific, particularly Ileana could create a hostile upper level flow that could spread into the Atlantic. Those hostile upper air dynamics could impact the unorganized disturbance that is currently east of the Lesser Antilles. Only time will tell.


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One response to “Pacific Still Where The Action Is”

  1. […] Further west in the Central Pacific, we have a Super Typhoon. Ioke, which was a hurricane in the area of Hawaii last week, crossed the international date line, and is now threatening Wake Island. The storm was a major hurricane at one point as it passed to the south of Hawaii, and made an approach to largely uninhabited Johnston Island as a Category Two storm. Presently, Ioke has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, which makes it just under the equivalent of a Category Five Hurricane in either the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific. Located some 235 miles to the East-Southeast of Wake Island, Ioke is anticipated to move very close to the island by later tonight or early Thursday (U.S. Time). […]