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2013 eastern Pacific hurricane season starts

Posted by Hurricane Expert on May 15, 2013

The eastern Pacific hurricane is starting off active. It appears that a tropical depression has formed about 625 miles ssw of Acapulco. At this time this tropical cyclone should stay to the south of Mexico. Travelers headed to the west coast of Mexico or the southern Baja should keep an eye on the progress of this system.

tropical depression forming

tropical depression forming

Rich Johnson –


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Looking back at the 2012 hurricane season

Posted by Hurricane Expert on February 11, 2013

It’s interesting to note that there were only two major hurricanes in the Atlantic for the 2012 hurricane season – Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Sandy. The long term average is 2-3 major hurricanes per season, but we have seen a slight increase since the 1990’s.

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Beryl now gone, Atlantic hurricane season begins…..

Posted by Hurricane Expert on May 31, 2012

Beryl rainfall

Even before the official start of the Atlantic 2012 hurricane season, we have seen two tropical storms. Many years there is no activity up to this point. Tropical storms Alberto and Beryl both formed off of the Southeastern U.S. coast before eventually moving northeast into the Atlantic.

Is this a sign of a very busy season? Probably not, but the extended tropical prognositcations have been wrong before. Season forecasts suggest a “normal” amount of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin compared with what has been observed over the past few decades.

I will be doing something a little different this year. I have a iphone / ipad app called The Global Travel Forecast. I produce 3 day video forecasts for different regions around the globe. One of the regions is the Caribbean where I cover tropical weather. You can also get that same forecast on my site. Please tell your friends to stop by. Thanks!

Rich Johnson –

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Beryl heading for Jacksonville, FL

Posted by Hurricane Expert on May 27, 2012

Subtropical storm Beryl

A rare landfall of a tropical cyclone will occur late today near Jacksonville, FL. Because of the shape of the coastline near Jacksonville, most tropical cyclones pass to the east offshore. More times than not, this area gets “side swiped” as a tropical storm or hurricane moves by. This time a wsw motion will carry Subtropical storm Beryl into the northeast Florida coast.

It is interesting to note that the official Atlantic hurricane season hasn’t even started – it begins on June 1st. Last week tropical storm Alberto nearly made a landfall in this same location. Alberto stalled about 50 – 100 miles east of the coast then moved away. Beryl will make landfall as a tropical storm as it completely loses subtropical characteristics today. Don’t look for much damage either as weather reporters line up on the coast to “inform” us. This storm will be more of a help as it brings very beneficial rainfall to north Florida and south Georgia. Check out for the latest.
Rich Johnson –

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First day of the 2012 eastern Pacific hurricane season

Posted by Hurricane Expert on May 15, 2012

The eastern Pacific hurricane season is starting out quickly with a tropical storm well west of Mexico. Tropical storm Aletta actually jumped the gun and formed before the first offical day of the season! I have started my tropical updates as of this morning.

If you recall the Atlantic 2012 hurricane season is supposed to be close to “normal” What is normal? Well, it really depends on what time frame you look at….. more on that at a different time. The point I would like to make is that even if El Niño shows up and decreases activity in the Atlantic; the eastern Pacific still could be busy.

Have a safe vacation season and tell your friends to check out for tropical updates! Thanks!

Rich Johnson –

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2012 Atlantic hurricane season outlook

Posted by Hurricane Expert on March 27, 2012

2012 Atlantic hurricane season outlook

Dr. Bill Gray and Dr. Phip Klotzbock of Colorado State University have given a hint to their Atlantic hurricane season outlook. It appears that the eastern equatorial Pacific is warming signaling the start of an El Nino event. This is indicative of lesser than normal tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin. Cooler waters in the Atlantic also suggest a lower than normal tropical cyclone season.

This forecast is based on the new “normal” tropical cyclone frequency since 1995 where there has been a marked upswing in the numbers of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin. This hurricane season is predicted to be close to the old “normal” of ten tropical storms of which six become hurricanes and one or two of those major hurricanes. A complete seasonal outlook will be realeased on April 4.

Rich Johnson –

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Myrtle Beach

Posted by Hurricane Expert on February 19, 2012


Rich Johnson –

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Recap of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Posted by Hurricane Expert on February 6, 2012

2011 Atlantic hurricane season recap

Before we start thinking about the upcoming hurricane season, let’s take a look back….

The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season produced 19 tropical storms of which seven became hurricanes. Of those seven hurricanes four became major hurricanes. As a reminder, a major hurricane is signified as a category three or higher on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale. ( winds of 111 mph or stronger ).

The United States was fortunate again, making this the six year in a row that there was not a landfalling major hurricane. The last was hurricane Wilma in 2005 when it hit southwest Florida in late October.

The hurricane season took an unusual start. There were eight tropical storms before a hurricane formed. That was Hurricane Irene which affected the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. Two tropical storms did hit the U.S. in 2011. Don moved into south Texas in late July and Lee hit the central Louisiana coast in early September.

It was interesting to note that Bermuda was surrounded by several tropical cyclones but none made a direct hit. Powerful Ophelia steered well to the east sparing the island.

We’ll take a look at the upcoming 2012 hurricane season at a later date.

Rich Johnson –

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The 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season as of Late September

Posted by Hurricane Expert on September 22, 2011

The Tropics

The Atlantic tropical hurricane season has been very interesting this year. In line with about the past fifteen years, hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin has been up. So far we have had fifteen named storms, with still a few months of the hurricane season left to squeeze out more. What is so unusual is that only three have become hurricanes. Very roughly, about 50% or more of the named storms become hurricanes. As of now, only three of the fifteen have become hurricanes and one of those is marginal if it even was a hurricane.

I don’t think that anyone is complaining except possibly the storm chasers who want to see mayhem. Right now were batting at about a 20% rate of tropical storms becoming hurricanes (13% if only two). Windshear – strong winds aloft are tearing the storms apart and not allowing them to strengthen. Hopefully it stays like this the rest of the season!

Be sure to check out my forecasts on the message boards at

Rich Johnson –

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Katia expected to become a hurricane soon

Posted by Hurricane Expert on August 31, 2011

Katia in eastern Atlantic

Katia is expected to become a hurricane during the next 24 hours and possibly a major one after that. Preliminary forecasts keep Katia north of the Caribbean, but possibly may affect Bermuda early next week. It’s too early to tell yet.

Be sure to check out my forecasts on the message boards at Also, it you are a fan of facebook check out my facebook page and hit “like” – thanks!

Rich Johnson –

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