The latest version of the Ocean Marine Nav Newsletter is ready to go. It will be sent this week. However, if you have been forwarding the newsletter to someone who has a common interest in the topics, especially in weather forecast and ocean routing, they can get their own copy. Have them send an email to so they can be added to our distribution list.

Hurricane Season could get interesting later summer

Sea surface temps are on the warm side as per the below data that comes from the Multiscale Ultrahigh Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (MUR SST) project, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Even though we had a busy season, it does not necessarily mean a busy season for the overall Hurricane season. The peak of the season comes during the first 2 weeks of September and the Cape Verde season hasn’t even begun yet…. so it could get interesting later this summer…..

Image from July 14 2020 from the Multiscale Ultrahigh Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (MUR SST) project

It is one of those seasons where the we have a busier early season then we go through dry spell. The dry spell can be followed by a very active August, September and even October before the season ends on a quiet note in November. The current expectation is for as many as 19 named storms over the Atlantic, but the air across the Atlantic has been on the dry side. The cause of the drier air is part of the sand moving west across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa.

The may be a developing La Nina across the eastern Pacific. As it develops lighter westerly winds across the Atlantic Ocean could ease. If the winds can ease and the dry air gives way to increased thunderstorm activity. A developing La Nina will help produce lighter westerly winds and this should allow for more favorable conditions to allow tropical depressions/storms and Hurricanes to form. We have yet to see a Major Hurricane yet, but if conditions become more favorable through the coming months, we could get more than one major Hurricane.

Tropical Depression 5. Where did that come from….

Did you hear…. late this morning (July 4th) The National Hurricane Center upgraded an area of convection SW of Bermuda to Tropical Depression 5. The area is not well organized and is borderline, very borderline, tropical depression. Take a look at the latest satellite data. There has been no real change in the structure of TD/5

The latest data does not support the further development of TD/5 and it should remain a TD before it starts to weaken and eventually becomes post tropical. There are no other suspect areas of convection, but I have to wonder why the NHC decided to make the area of convection a tropical depression.

The overall pattern across the Atlantic is not favorable for wide spread development of any area across the Atlantic at this time. However with time, we will see the development of more suspect areas of convection as upper level winds will ease, moisture at the lower/upper levels of the atmosphere will increase and tropical cyclone development will occur.

All quiet across the Western Pacific

I can’t remember the last time the tropical western Pacific Ocean has been so quiet. The last Tropical Cyclone was TS Nuri that first formed east of the Philippines on June 10th that slowly worked its way across the Philippines to the East China Sea through June 15th. Since then, there have been no official tropical cyclones across the entire western Tropical Pacific Ocean. Odd, very odd.

However, we are playing with borrowed time. As time goes on through July, there is an increasing probability that convection will form, deepen and eventually become a tropical cyclone across the tropical western Pacific.

As long as the upper level winds do not tear the convection apart. So, even though the western tropics are very quiet, I suspect once we get the first one, we will see a steady trend of tropical cyclones forming that will continue through the Fall.

Hurricane Season 2020

Hurricane Season starts in a little over 4months from now. Before you know, our attention will shift from snow storms to how active the 2020 Hurricane Season will be. It is a bit early to get any predictions. However, Colorado State University has put out some info on the coming season.

As of now there is a 10% chance that the season would be below normal. The probably is 45% for an above normal season, so for now, chances are, the season could see normal to slightly above normal activity. The 2020 season could be close to the 2019 season.

There is no way to predict where, when or even how strong each storm will be. Things could change he outlook, especially if an EL Nino begins to develop and shows signs of strengthening during the year. We should have a better idea on how the season could be in April.

Updated Web Site

it has been a little while since I posted an update, but the outfit that had been hosting the Ocean Marine Nav web site decided to close down, so it became necessary to move the site. It has take some time to move to a new provider and move over as much of the site as possible, but that work has finally been done. Moving the site made it necessary to make some changes and some things may have been lost but the site is now functional.

Now that the web site is up and running. Future posts will be made on a more regular basis as we make our way through the second half of the winter and the upcoming 2020 Hurricane Season.

Sub-tropical storm or Tropical Storm Melissa?

You may have missed it but the broad low pressure area that was south of the southern New England coast was upgraded to a sub-tropical storm and given the name of Melissa.There was no doubt that Sub-Tropical Storm Melissa was a strong storm with the broad area of tropical storm force and even the chance of category one Hurricane force winds near the center of the low.  According to the National Hurricane Center(NHC), Melissa did reach Tropical storm. Looking at the satellite imagery, it could have gone either way.

The National Hurricane Center has been using creative measures to identify storms in recent years. Sub tropical Storms and Potential Tropical cyclone and that is well well and good. I like the idea of bringing these storms to the publics attention. However must they give these non-tropical cyclones names? What is the harm in keeping a subtropical low classified with a number until the sub-tropical low actually develops clear tropical storm characteristic before a name is issued?

Are they trying to make sure the earlier predictions for total named storms are well within their predicted levels?  Back in May the NHC predicted 9-13 named storms this year. In August, the numbers were increased to 10-17. Melissa is be the 13th named storm this year.  With about 6-7 weeks of the Hurricane season left, the chances of future named systems decreases each day we don't have one. Is it for insurance purposes?  Melissa was well out to sea and not going to affect any land areas.  It was going to affect ships at sea, no doubt, but chances are the Captains of these vessels were well aware of the stalled low that eventually become sub-tropical Melissa and its eventual movement across the North Atlantic. 

The good thing is that Sub-Tropical Storm or Tropical Storm Melissa has been moving eastward and weakening and should become post tropical on Monday/14th.

Watch out Japan – Super Typhoon Hagibis is on its way

Even though the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Tropical season has been put on hold with currently no active systems at this time. That does not mean the tropics have taken a break everywhere. A nasty Tropical Cyclone is over the western Pacific. 

Currently a Super Typhoon is located over the western Tropical Pacific (north of Guam) with max winds near the center of 140kt with gusts to 170kts near the center. Present motion is toward the WNW at 17kts. Tropical storm force winds currents extend outward upto 220nm from the center. A Super Typhoon is the comparable strength of a category 5 Hurricane. 

During the coming days, Super Typhoon Hagibis is expected to gradually turn toward the Northwest, then North toward Japan. As of now the central portions of Japan have the greatest risk of experiencing the strongest winds near the center. Higibis should weaken as it nears Japan but should be still a typhoon when it gets there. 

For the latest forecast chart click here