Tropical Storm Arlene

  • Satellite image of Arlene forming in the Gulf of Mexico. Image:NOAA

    The track of Tropical Storm Arlene. Image:NASA

    Arlene makes landfall in eastern Mexico. Image:NOAA

  • Tropical Storm Arlene
    02.07.2011 15:30

    The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season swung into action this week as Arlene, the first named storm of the season, struck the east coast of Mexico.

    The storm developed over the Gulf of Mexico during the early part of the week and headed eastwards, picking up strength. By Thursday Arlene approached the Mexican coast and made landfall on Thursday morning at Cabo Rojo, a cape in Veracruz state. Although the tropical storm never quite reached hurricane strength it was producing sustained winds of around 65mph as it struck the coast, and brought with it torrential rain.

    The rain caused flash flooding and landslides, and three people were reported to have been killed. However, in general the damage and disruption was not as large as might have been feared as the storm approached. Indeed in some drought stricken areas, especially parts of the state of Tamaulinas, the rainfall provided by the storm was quite welcome.

    Through Thursday the storm moved slowly inland, but once separated from the moisture and heat source provided by the Gulf of Mexico it quickly lost strength. Heavy rain continued during Friday, although this eased as the storm dissipated.

    The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from 1st June to 30th November, although it is not completely unheard of for storms to occur outside of this period. Many forecasters are predicting that this year will see an above-average number of tropical storms, although it is unlikely to be as active as last year, when there were a total of 19 named storms including 12 hurricanes.

    By: Tom Tobler