Tropical Thursdays; August 15, 2019


The North Atlantic Basin remains quiet for the month of August, but the West Pacific is starting to become a little more active with two typhoons causing destruction over the past week.

Tropical Storm Krosa is a large storm situated over the Sea of Japan and moving to the northeast bringing heavy rains and gusty winds to portions of Japan and China.

Last week, Krosa was equated to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (SSHWS) south of Japan. It weakened considerably as it traveled northward coming ashore as a Severe Tropical Storm in southeastern Japan.

At least 40 people have been injured and hundreds of flights were canceled as Severe Tropical Storm Krosa unleashes widespread torrential rain and damaging winds across Japan.

Another, more powerful Typhoon, traveled through the Ryukyu Islands as a Super Typhoon with winds of 150 mph. While the islands were sparred a direct hit from Lekima they were forced to endure the powerful and damaging winds of the eyewall for a longer period of time, due to a last-minute wobble in the eyewall of the storm.

If the islands were to go completely through the eyewall and exit into the eye of Lekima, they would have had a couple hours of calm conditions before the other side of the eyewall approached.

After impacting the Ryukyu Islands the storm moved northwest into China, where is came ashore as a Category 2 hurricane on the SSHWS causing landslides, flooding, and severe wind damage. Typhoon Lekima has killed dozens of people across China and is now the second costliest typhoon in China history.

Shifting gears to the eastern Pacific, there are no tropical storms or hurricanes at this time, but there are two tropical waves that could potentially develop over the next several days.

Just off the coast of Baja California a small area of thunderstorms has a 10% chance of developing over the next several days as it continues traveling northwest towards Hawaii.

However, this area currently has an increased amount of wind shear which is preventing the system from becoming more well defined. Likely this system will dissipate far from the Hawaiian Islands as the upper level wind shear continues to rip apart the storm.

Another area of concern is located in the far west-central Pacific just southwest of the Hawaiian Islands. Wind shear values are still present in this area which hinders development for the next couple of days, but as this cluster of thunderstorms moves into the Western Pacific it will enter a more favorable area, with less wind shear, and could help to strengthen the system further. At this time it has a 20% chance of developing into a named system in the next 5 to 7 days.

The North Atlantic Basin remains quiet this week as wind shear levels increase across most of the Gulf of Mexico and open Atlantic, preventing any storms from developing.

It has been a quiet year so far with only two named systems, but we are just entering into the peak months of Hurricane Season. Generally, we see an increase in activity starting mid-August, a peak in September (around September 10), and then a slow tapering off as we enter into October. It may be quiet now but we have to keep a close eye on the Atlantic as we enter into the active months.

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