Mill Valley, CA (PRWEB) June 03, 2014
June 1 is the first day of the annual tropical weather season in the northern hemisphere, and it is also the beginning of a season-long series of tropical weather forecasts, alerts and reports of benefit to travelers, especially cruise passengers, from “The Storm Meister.” The Storm Meister is San Francisco Bay Area cruise and adventure travel specialist, Steve Faber, owner of CruiseOne®, San Rafael, Calif.
The independent online travel agent is quick to acknowledge that the San Francisco Bay Area seems a strange location for a tropical weather advisor, but Faber is quick to point out there is a good and valid reason for his in-depth meteorological knowledge. He sums it up in two words: self preservation. Faber goes on to explain that he has literally decades of experience as a blue-water sailor and glider pilot, and that having a good handle on the mechanics of weather is a key component of protecting life and limb.
Faber lived in the Florida Keys for eight years, during a particularly active period for tropical cyclones, including the catastrophic 2005 season, which gave him a real-life up-close-and-personal acquaintance with the behavior of tropical storms. Since the National Weather Service had no official weather station on his island, Faber installed a state-of-the-art weather station on his roof, riding out every hurricane less than Category 3, and often feeding data to local TV affiliates.
At the beginning of each month during the six months of hurricane season, the Storm Meister will issue a news release recapping tropical activity for the prior 30 days and forecasting activity for the upcoming month. During “quiet” months the reports will also include overviews, history and interesting facts about hurricanes and other tropical disturbances, even hurricane trivia, such as why 74MPH is designated as the threshold where a tropical storm becomes a hurricane. (Hint: it’s not arbitrary. *Answer below.)
The monthly dispatches are meant to be a summary and portal to the real meat and potatoes of the system, the weekly tropical weather and high-seas forecasts which appear on Faber’s website, http://www.GreatShipTrips.com, every Friday. These forecasts include graphic and text coverage of all active weather systems in the Eastern Pacific and Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean-South Atlantic basins, incorporating current storm tracks linked to Faber’s ongoing year-round High Seas Report, which graphically maps predicted wave heights on a daily basis for the period, plotted along with predicted storm positions and scheduled locations for selected cruise ships.
*Answer to trivia question: One of the features that distinguish a hurricane from other tropical disturbances is the existence of a central “eye,” a relatively calm area around which the winds rotate in a counter-clockwise direction. An “eye wall,” a stable border between the calm eye and the violent surrounding storm force winds only forms when the winds reach 74MPH. Below that velocity hurricanes fail to hold their shape and degrade into tropical storms.
STORM MEISTER MONTHLY REPORT #1
June 1, 2014
HURRICANES 101 – Hurricane Hot Zones (Got an “ITCH?”)
This month marks the start of the severe weather season in the tropic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The season exists because of the presence of three basic ingredients that dictate when and where such disturbances will occur. The recipe for hurricanes from Mother Nature’s Cookbook is a simple one: combine one part rain and thunderstorms with one part warm sea temperatures, stir with convective winds and bake under direct sunlight. The region where those conditions occur simultaneously is called the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, or “ITCZ” (pronounced “itch” by weather geeks), marked by a band of clouds and thunderstorms circling the globe relatively close to the equator. The ITCZ follows the sun as the sun moves from north of the equator in our summer to south of the equator during our winter.
Because the Earth is tilted about 23.5 degrees, the maximum northward trek of the sun stops at about 23.5 degrees north latitude (aka the Tropic of Cancer) around June 21 (the summer solstice). That line moves through the Gulf of Mexico, so for June, the Gulf of Mexico is the hot zone for hurricane formation. By mid-July the ITCZ has moved south to about 15 degrees north of the equator, running through the Cape Verde Islands, so beginning in July, Western Africa around the Cape Verde Islands becomes the next hot zone.
PRIOR MONTH’S SUMMARY
May saw the first tropical cyclone of the 2014 season. Amanda formed in the Eastern Pacific on May 23 as a tropical storm and rapidly developed into a hurricane, ultimately, briefly reaching Category 4 on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale. This is not early for hurricane development on the west coast of North America as the tropical cyclone season begins May 15 in the Eastern Pacific. However, a major-strength hurricane this early in the season is rare.
CURRENT MONTH’S FORECAST
As of the final week of May 2014, no further tropical development had occurred or had been forecast in either basin (Eastern Pacific or Atlantic-Gulf-Caribbean.)
Each Friday, Faber uploads a new set of weekly up-to-the-minute wind and High Seas (wave heights) reports, charts and maps to the Storm Meister section of his web page, http://www.GreatShipTrips.com.
About the company:
Having traveled the world as a travel writer to report on cruises, Steve Faber has been blessed with the opportunity to sail on 98 cruises on 71 ships of 31 cruise lines. As an independent CruiseOne® cruise specialist, Faber capitalizes on combining his knowledge of ships and destinations with the powerful marketing clout and superlative client service of CruiseOne, the world’s largest seller of cruise vacations. Based in the Bay Area, Faber serves clients throughout the United States and many foreign countries. Contact him to discuss cruise itineraries,cruise discounts, adventure travel, river cruises and more by calling 415-485-0100 or book online at http://www.sfaber.cruiseone.com/travel/HomePage.html.