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Wed May 15, 2019, 11:00 AM

The 2019 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season Begins; First TD Possible Next Week

The Eastern Pacific hurricane season has officially begun. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued their first Tropical Weather Outlook of the season on Wednesday, May 15, outlining no threat areas for the coming five days. However, about 20% of the ensemble members of recent runs of the GFS and European models have been predicting the possibility of a tropical depression forming in the Pacific waters along the coast between southern Mexico and Costa Rica occurring sometime Tuesday through Friday next week. The first name on the Eastern Pacific list of storm names in 2019 is Alvin.
As we discussed in our November 2018 post, A Hyperactive 2018 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season Ends, last year’s season was the most active on record for accumulated cyclone energy (ACE), with 316.3 units, which tops the previous record of 295.2 units in 1992. Reliable data extends back to 1971, the start of the satellite era. ACE is proportional to the square of a named storm’s maximum wind speed summed up over the length of time the storm exists as a tropical storm or hurricane, and is a good measure of destructive potential.

The 2018 season was hyperactive by virtually any measure, with 23 named storms, 13 hurricanes, and 10 intense hurricanes. This is well above the 1981 – 2010 averages of 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes, and not far from the all-time records of 27 named storms (set in 1992), 16 hurricanes (set in 2015, 2014, and 1992), and 11 intense hurricanes (set in 2015). The Eastern Pacific is defined here as the area between the International Date Line and the Americas, including the forecast region dubbed the Central Pacific.

This year figures to be another active one in the Eastern Pacific, since it is an El Niño year, when we tend to see an uptick in activity due to lower wind shear and warmer sea surface temperatures. NOAA issues its seasonal hurricane season forecast for the Eastern Pacific (and Atlantic) on May 23. The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1.

Given the serious drought in Kingston and St Andrew, Jamaica, we can sure use some rain coming from Central America - the main source of our May and June rains

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