Weather Around The World, 7/7: Tropics, Heat, Monsoon, And Termites

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Home / Weather Around The World, 7/7: Tropics, Heat, Monsoon, And Termites
Tropical cyclones are lined up in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Satellite photo courtesy of US Navy.

Tropical cyclones are lined up in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Satellite photo courtesy of US Navy.

The Pacific Ocean has exploded with cyclonic action, including an unusual winter cyclone in the South Pacific.

Meanwhile heat is oppressive in the northern hemisphere on two continents.

There are also monsoon rains in Arizona and termites in Florida. Let’s go Around The World.

The Pacific Ocean Is Riled Up

A rare winter cyclone called Raquel brought minimal tropical storm force winds to the Solomon Islands last week. That would be the equivalent of a North Atlantic tropical storm around New Year’s Eve.

The more important activity is in the North Pacific, as the typhoon season heads for its August Maximum. There have already been four Super-Typhoons this year, and it is possible that the number will increase this week. Activity stretches from southwest of Mexico to Asia. Two eastern Pacific storms will make landfall this week.

Typhoon Chan-hom

Chan-hom is currently a minimal typhoon about 700 miles east of the Philippines. The forecast calls for it to head northwest and pass north of Taiwan as it reaches its maximum strength of category four (135 miles per hour) before turning north towards Shanghai.

The latest forecast indicates that Chan-hom will pass more than 100 miles north of Taiwan, and weaken to a tropical storm before it reaches China. But this will be a close call for both.

Typhoon Nangka

Nangka is currently a category three storm with winds of 125 miles per hour. It is located about 400 miles east of Guam, heading northwest.

The forecast calls for Nangka to become a Super-Typhoon with winds of 150 miles per hour on Wednesday, then turn north and eventually northeast and dissipate over the cold water east of Japan.

Tropical Storm Linfa

Tropical storm Linfa crossed the northern Philippines as a low pressure center with minimal winds on Friday. It has become a moderate tropical storm over the China Sea, but will weaken again before making landfall in China. This will be mostly a rain event on land.

The Eastern Pacific

Low pressure east-southeast of Hawaii is expected to become a tropical storm in the next couple of days and head for Hawaii. Satellite photo courtesy of NOAA.

Low pressure east-southeast of Hawaii is expected to become a tropical storm in the next couple of days and head for Hawaii. Satellite photo courtesy of NOAA.

A low pressure area 1350 miles east-southeast of Hawaii currently has winds up to 35 miles per hour. It is expected to become a tropical storm soon and head for the islands.

Though the water the storm will traverse is only marginally warm enough to support a hurricane, most forecasts show that a reasonably strong storm will pass north of Hawaii next week.

Two other areas of disturbed weather south of Hawaii have lower probabilities of developing.

Heat Wave In Europe

The weather pattern in Europe is stuck in heat wave mode as low pressure over the ocean is pumping southerly winds into Europe from Africa.

The low pressure in the northeast Atlantic is anchored by a pool of abnormally cold water, and the hot weather is likely to persist over the continent through the summer. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Temperatures in Madrid have been near or above 100 since June 27 and are forecast to stay there for another ten days. Normal high is about 84.
  • London set an all-time July high temperature record with 98 on the first.
  • Zurich will hit the mid-nineties today for the seventh day in a row. Normal high is 74.
  • In Kitzingen, Germany, the temperature reached 104.5 degrees on Sunday; it was the highest temperature ever recorded anywhere in Germany in 135 years of record-keeping.
  • Paris reached 102 degrees on July 1.

Heat Goes On In The American Northwest

Weather Pattern Westzilla is reluctant to release its grip on Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. This heat wave also appears to be anchored by an anomalous pool of ocean water — this time a warm eddy in the Gulf of Alaska which has persisted for several years and is implicated in the California drought.

Here are just a few of the hot highlights:

  • Seattle broke its July Fourth record with a reading of 92 degrees.
  • Portland, Oregon tied its record of 96 on Sunday.
  • Boise, Idaho topped 100 degrees on nine consecutive days through the Fourth, including a record-tying 104 on July Second.

The warm water pool in the Gulf of Alaska has competition from El Niño Eggplant, which is strengthening. El Niño tends to create a pattern opposite to Westzilla, and the longer-range forecasts indicate there will be relief for the northwest in a week or so.

American Monsoon

The monsoon season has begun in the American southwest, with enhanced rainfall in Arizona. Though it is puny compared to the Indian monsoon, the American monsoon brings important rain to the desert, and sometimes causes flash floods, as it did in Tucson, Arizona over the weekend.

The average rainfall in Tucson in June, its second driest month, is 0.28 inches. The monsoon of July drops 1.93 inches, a laughably paltry amount by the standards of Miami, Minneapolis, or Memphis. Still, with minimum drainage capacity in many Arizona cities, flooding is possible whenever there’s a heavy shower.

There’s no sign that the monsoon rain is headed for parched southern California as it occasionally does.

Global Warming; Termites Swarming

Termite swarms are more common in south Florida after a record-warm spring. Photo credit: mensatic.

Termite swarms are more common in south Florida after a record-warm spring. Photo credit: mensatic.

In March, Decoded Science reported that two virulent types of termite, the Asian and Formosan species, were observed mating in Florida, and this was thought to be because global warming had enabled their mating seasons to overlap.

Now Florida pest control companies report an increase in requests for termite control of 27%. They attribute the trend to this year’s warmest spring (March through May) ever in south Florida as well as four recent warm winters.

The good news is that so far only ordinary wood termites are involved. There has been no sign that the more aggressive Asian and Formosan termites have successfully produced hybrid offspring which might embody the worst behavior of both species.

Global Warming: Unexpected Places

The message we should be paying attention to is that the effects of global warming can show up in unexpected places.

Let Decoded Science know if you see signs of global warming.

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