On September 22, Fall Equinox occurred in the northern hemisphere and Spring Equinox in the southern. The date certainly defines a change of season, but more than anything, it marks the time for ”more of everything”. An exciting time for all of us who love weather, and certainly an interesting and challenging time for all broadcasters engaged in weather content programming and particularly on-air weather forecasting.
The North Atlantic and Pacific Tropical Weather Season just turned very active, and with no less than four tropical systems and two additional potential developing storm systems, your weather coverage for audiences around the world just got very busy.
Today, I am going to bring to everyone’s attention – again – the risks of lightning strikes and the potentially fatal consequences of not heeding the warnings and forecasts. We’re writing 2016, and although technology exists that may help predict the movement and formation of severe storms, we – humans – are FAR from immune to the dangers of lightning strikes. In fact, lightning strikes are just as deadly today as they were 10, 100 or 300 years ago.
We are currently well on our way with both the Northern Atlantic and Pacific Hurricane Seasons. Right now, there are two named tropical storm systems active in the Eastern Pacific: Tropical Storm Frank and Hurricane Georgette.
In the northern hemisphere, we are now enjoying summer. And although summer and summer holidays are strongly associated with lazy days at the beach or walking through the mountains on sunny days, the typical definition of “summer weather” is not as clear.
In recent years, one of the most commonly used phrases in weather and climate discussions has been along the lines of, “Since we are in an El Niño pattern...”, followed by different analyses or opinions on current or forecasted weather. In fact, there is a periodic on-going cyclic weather pattern variation or oscillation called ENSO or El Niño–Southern Oscillation. This is a cyclic change in the wind and sea surface temperature over parts of the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. This oscillation has two phases, one warm phase - El Niño, and one cold phase - La Niña.
Weather matters. Whether you are planning your daily commute to the office or to drop off the kids at football practice. Whether your organization operates a fleet of package carriers, trade energy futures, or an airport that needs to plan for contingencies due to an onset of fog.
The 2016 North Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts today, June 1st, and runs through November 30th. Although the focus on tropical weather development is naturally stronger during this time, being prepared for inclement weather is not something one does during a specific time of year. It needs to be a way of life and a way of conducting one’s business operations.
There is no magic switch to turn on that causes tropical systems to develop in-season. In fact, off-season tropical storms and hurricanes are a frequent occurrence, and significant (named) storms in May are commonplace.