Saturday, August 15, 2009

Finally, action in the Atlantic.

Happy Atlantic Hurricane Season 2009, everyone!

While those that live on the southeast coast (and in the Caribbean/Central America) probably DON'T look forward to this time of year ever, it's always a kind of morbid curiosity for me. #1 as a humanitarian, #2 as a "WAS*ISsy" research scientist, #3 as a weather nerd. Although I freely admit that those 3 could be in any order at times... saving lives of course always comes first. It's my job, but also my passion.

This morning, tropical storm Ana (pronounced Ah-na), formed from the remnants of TD#2 in the Central Atlantic. The shear that has been cutting off convection for the last few days is finally on the downswing, and Ana is moving over warmer waters. Ana's forecast track places her somewhere between South Florida and south of Cuba/Haiti/DR in 5 days, strengthening in that time to around hurricane strength. Of course, everyone living in those areas needs to start taking precautions now.

We've had a lot of death and destruction lately (the last 5 years or so), but due to the onset of a weak El Nino, this year's Atlantic hurricane season forecast is officially calling for a calmer than normal season. HOWEVER -- (and that's a big however...) just one badly timed storm can make for a REALLY bad hurricane season for someone. I'm thinking here of the 1992 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which was officially below average, but included as its first named storm Hurricane Andrew which devastated South Florida - the worst US storm on record until Katrina in 2005. Sound familiar to this season so far??

Keep an eye on Ana everyone, especially those in the cone.