Thursday, June 17, 2010

'Tis the season: tropical systems forming in the Eastern Pacific

Tropical cyclone systems have started forming early in the warm waters of the Eastern Pacific.

Just a couple of weeks into the 2010 hurricane season, weather forecasters have already identified three systems along the coast of Central America. At this writing, the first and second systems appear to have dissipated. The third is Tropical Storm Blas

(Image: Tropical Storm Blas at 5 a.m. June 17. Credit: National Weather Service.)

None has appeared in the Central Pacific, which is the piece of ocean inhabited by the Hawaiian Islands. But many of our hurricanes start off as tropical systems in the Eastern Pacific.

We won't be covering these on a daily basis at, although you can do so here. Rather, this is an alert that the season is upon us, and it's a good time for residents of the Islands to be sure they have their preliminary hurricane season ducks in a row.

A key piece of this preparedness is to have a preliminary discussion with family and co-workers about what will happen if a hurricane approaches. What are you employers' requirements. Does your family have safe shelter, are you in an evacuation zone, do you have a designated rendezvous point in case you're separated, and do you have an agreed-upon person outside your island to call in case of a severe disruption.

Also, do you have a family disaster kit? Now is a good time to prepare one, or to check the status of the one you have. Details can be found on the Web or in the disaster preparedness guide in almost any telephone book. It will include food, water, flashlight, battery radio, your family's medications, pet supplies, personal hygiene supplies, first aid gear, and so on. It should also include a list of important telephone numbers, email addresses and so forth.

As for Tropical Storm Blas, current projections have it dying out within the week. But there will be more as time goes on, and some will be more forceful. Some may move into Hawaiian waters.

Hurricanes are heat engines, and the water temperatures around Hawai'i are now not warm enough to support an active hurricane—but as the summer progresses they will be.

In the words of the Boy Scout motto, be prepared.

© Jan TenBruggencate 2010

No comments: