More Rain for Florida, Tropical Storm Activity Picks up in the Pacific

This information courtesy of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security (GEMA)
Preparedness Bulletin #8
Thursday July 12, 2012

A tropical wave southeast of the Florida Peninsula is expected to travel through the Florida Straits and into the Gulf of Mexico through the weekend, increasing moisture over the Florida Peninsula and boosting chances for rainfall, according to the National Hurricane Center. Two other tropical waves have been identified: one is in the middle of the tropical Atlantic, nearing Puerto Rico; the other recently moved off the coast of Africa. None of these waves should become stronger tropical systems because there is too much dry air in the atmosphere and too much competing wind. This pattern of low tropical activity is not expected to change this week or next.

Meanwhile another tropical storm, Fabio, has formed in the Pacific. This storm could become a hurricane within the next couple of days, but is expected to offshore of Mexico. Hurricane Emilia strengthened again to near 115 miles per hour, but is expected to gradually weaken in the next 12 hours. That storm is currently southwest of the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California and is moving west at 12 miles per hour.

Come on El Niño
An increase in Pacific tropical storm activity may be an indicator of a building El Niño. Accuweather.comhas an in-depth article describing the effects of this weather pattern, but the end result is that the Atlantic could have fewer tropical storms and hurricanes. Or maybe not.

Chatham County’s Evacuation Assembly Area is Ready for Hurricane Season
Chatham County EMA recently updated its websitewith comprehensive information on its Evacuation Assembly Area. The webpage includes a video identifying what evacuees should bring to the assembly area and how it can accommodate individuals with unique needs or those with pets.

Question of the Week
While I was on vacation Ken made a Herculean effort to stump our weather aficionados, generating responses from The Silver Fox, B.C. of Rockdale and L.D. The question was “What was the first hurricane to be photographed from outer space?”
In 1961 Trios 111 took the first satellite pictures of a hurricane, photographing Hurricane Anna and then hurricanes Betsy, Carla and Debbie. Hurricane Esther was the first such storm to be discovered using satellite imagery. In all cases, the Trios pictures provided important supplements to reconnaissance aircraft observations and to data obtained by ground-based observations, by fixing the position of the hurricane center and showing the extent of the spiral cloud bands.

This week’s question requires a little background: 1999’s Hurricane Floyd caused the third largest evacuation in US history. That storm started as a Cape Verde-type hurricane, which is usually the largest and most intense one or two storms of the season because they often have plenty of warm open ocean over which to develop before encountering land. The question is “What was the last Cape Verde-type hurricane to make landfall as a Category 5 storm?”


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