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May 30, 2010

First tropical storm of NE Pacific pounds Guatemala

It's the beginning of the hurricane season in the north eastern Pacific Ocean, too, and it's off to a tragic start as remnants of Tropical Storm Agatha continue to drench parts of Guatemala, Mexico NOAAand El Salvador with up to 20 inches of rain. At least 16 people have died and 69,000 have been evacuated amid the torrential rains and resulting landslides.

In contrast with the Atlantic, the eastern Pacific is expected to have a quiet season this year, with forecasters giving the region a 75 percent chance of a below-normal number of tropical storms forming, and a 10 percent chance of only a normal season.  Forecasters cite ongoing multi-decadal cycles that are suppressing storm formation in the region, and the expected neutral or La Nina phase of the Pacific cycle of seas-surface temperatures.

Those are some of the same reasons why predictions for the Atlantic basin call for an active to extremely active season this year. While La Ninas tend to suppress tropical storm formation in the Pacific, the long-distance atmospheric patterns they set up tend to take the brakes off storm formation in the Atlantic. And, the Atlantic remains in its own multi-decadal cycle which, since 1995, has stimulated above-normal storm formation there.

The eastern Pacific has it own name list for the 2010 season, too, starting with Agatha. Here is the list for the Atlantic season, beginning with Alex.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 4:55 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Hurricanes
        

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff
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