Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hurricane Warnings To Shipping As Storms Develop

Eleven Named Storms This Year as Range Extends East in Atlantic
Shipping News Feature

BERMUDA – MEXICO – LEEWARD ISLANDS – VIRGIN ISLANDS – PUERTO RICO – GUATEMALA – US -There are three active hurricanes raging currently across the Atlantic for the first time this year, endangering shipping across a wide area. In Guatemala a disaster agency warning alerted residents and sailors alike to the dangers from Hurricane Karl with heavy rains were expected as it creeps west across the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf before blowing itself out in the Mexican mountains.

Meanwhile Hurricane Igor approaches Bermuda and small vessel warnings are in place with local meteorologists predicting extremely dangerous surf conditions in the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. East Coast. Although the storm should be down to a Force Two hurricane by the time it makes landfall in Bermuda its pattern means it could spend a couple of days sweeping around the country. Currently Igor is strength Four and with winds of 145 mph, and gusting well above that, Igor is set to continue to present extreme dangers to anything in its path.

The strongest hurricane ever formed that far East in the Atlantic is Julia which attained Force Four when it rose at some point North West of Cape Verde. Not expected to make landfall she is being killed by wind shear created by low pressure between her and Igor, plus by moving North she has encountered cooler sea surface temperatures causing her to fall to Force Two and is dropping in power rapidly.

With eleven named tropical storms this year already (a normal average for an entire season) and several weeks to go before this current season ends, meteorologists, and crews of ships of all descriptions, are likely to be busier than ever.

Photo: Courtesy of NOAA/NASA GOES Project. An amazing photograph taken today by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-13. On the far left is Karl over the Bay of Campeche in the Southern Quadrant of the Gulf of Mexico. Julia is on the far right, her eye obscured and causing a giant plume of dust to the East on the African coast. Centrally the enormous power of Igor muscles its way toward Bermuda spanning over 500 miles and dominating a vast tract of ocean.