Tropical Thursdays: Active Western Pacific, and NOAA releases latest hurricane outlook

Weather

Twin typhoons churning over the Western Pacific Ocean are threatening parts of Asia as they move closer to making landfall.

Super Typhoon Lekima, was once equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane, has now weakened to an equivalent Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. It will be the first of the “twin typhoons” to make landfall in the coming days. Over the weekend, Lekima will look to make landfall in China or pass dangerously close to its coast; by this time, Lekima is expected to weaken, lessening some of its impacts to the country. No matter the exact strength of Lekima, flooding rainfall is likely to cause problems from southern Taiwan to eastern China; with enough inundation, mudslides are also a possibility in the higher terrain.

Lekima

Krosa is currently located near the Northern Mariana Islands and is bringing heavy rainfall to the nearby islands including Guam. Over 6 inches of rain was reported in Guam from Friday through Wednesday evening. Krosa is currently nearly stationary and will eventually continue moving northwest. It has moved into warm waters, and a low wind shear environment, allowing it to strengthen rapidly. As of Thursday evening, local time, Krosa had winds of 100 mph, equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane in the Eastern Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean basins. The two systems are so close in to one another that they are likely to feed off each other and influence one another. Because of this, the exact track of Krosa is very uncertain.

Krosa

At this moment, the Atlantic and the Eastern Pacific remain somewhat quiet for the month of August. However, NOAA is now expecting 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This updated outlook is for the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends on November 30th. 

NOAA is also announcing today that the current El Nino in the Pacific Ocean has ended and neutral conditions have returned. El Nino typically suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity, but now that it’s gone, we could see the tropical season heat up over the next couple of months.

On average, the Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. NOAA’s hurricane season outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Landfalls are largely determined by short-term weather patterns, which are only predictable within about a week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline.

2019 Atlantic Storm Names

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