Thursday, April 9th, 2020 6:17 Z

South Atlantic Tropical Cyclones

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Overview

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has not officially designated any agency to provide advisories on tropical or subtropical cyclones in the South Atlantic Ocean. (south of the Equator in the Southern Hemisphere) A list of Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) that have been designated by the WMO can be found here. While many of the regions in which tropical cyclones form have agencies that have been designated to have regional responsibility, a few areas where tropical cyclones occur less frequently do not have such an agency, including the South Atlantic.

Since 2011, the Brazilian Navy has named tropical cyclones in METAREA V, one of over 20 METAREA regions around the world for which various agencies have a responsibility to provide meteorological information to mariners. Brazil names storms in the region they are responsible for issuing other meteorological information for even though they are not officially designated as a RSMC or TCWC. You can learn more about storms that form in this region in the next section on this page. You can view a map of all the METAREAs at the WMO or on this site. If you would like to know more about METAREAs, which are used in part as part of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), you an visit the Wikipedia article here.

Wikipedia has a page about South Atlantic tropical cyclones that contains a lot of information about South Atlantic tropical cyclones, especially from 2011 onward.

For information on the handling of South Atlantic storms in the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting System (ATCF), click here to view that section on this page.

Storms near Brazil

Since 2011, the Brazilian Navy has named tropical cyclones in METAREA V, one of over 20 METAREA regions around the world for which various agencies have a responsibility to provide meteorological information to mariners. Brazil names storms in the region they are responsible for issuing other meteorological information for even though they are not officially designated as a RSMC or TCWC. An image of that region is shown later in this section.

You can view data on a current named storm, as well as a tropical or subtropical depression, in the text of the normal products they issue. Additionally, you can find them identified on the normal weather maps they issue. As of updating this page, they don't currently have this information in its own section. They also don't seem to have an archive of previous storms. You can view their products below.

English:
- Page with "Weather and Sea Bulletin" and "Warnings" links
- Weather and Sea Bulletin (through NOAA server)
- Warnings (through NOAA server)

Portuguese:
- Weather and Sea Bulletin (through NOAA server)
- Warnings (through NOAA server)
- Weather Maps
- Numerical Modeling

The Portuguese name for the center within the Brazilian Navy that names storms is the Centro de Hidrografia da Marinha (CHM). Multiple sources, including one here from NOAA, have the English translation for the center as the Brazilian Navy Hydrographic Center.

You can access information in English on their site here. Weather warnings of any kind are mentioned there. When there is an active storm, you can find information at the "Warning" and "Weather and Sea Bulletin" links. The "Weather and Sea Bulletin" link may have additional information, such as forecast points. You can view the warning text from some previous storms by visiting the Wikipedia article on South Atlantic tropical cyclones to see what you can expect from the text on that page when a storm is active. You can also visit the "Talk" page there for some links to archived pages that have some previous data on storms.

Site Thumbnail
Brazilian Navy names tropical cyclones in METAREA V, shown above. Image adapted from Brazilian Navy image here.

The list of storm names for the region near Brazil, as defined in a 2018 document here, are:
Arani
Bapo
Cari
Deni
Eçaí
Guará
Iba
Jaguar
Kurumí
Mani
Oquira
Potira
Raoni
Ubá
Yakecan
Tropical and subtropical storms reaching 34 knots will be named from this single list of names. When the end of the list is reached, the names will be repeated. If a storm is significant enough a decision will be made on whether to retire the name from the list and replace it. In 2011, Arani was named. In 2019, Jaguar was named. This page will not be updated frequently. There may be other storms used since updating this page. We simply want to show that names aren't used that often.

The wind speeds used are the same as the National Hurricane Center. A tropical or subtropical depression is less than 34 knots. A tropical or subtropical storm is 34 to 63 knots. A hurricane is 64 knots or greater. Wind speeds are 1-minute sustained.

Before storms were named by the Brazilian Navy, the most notable storm was Hurricane Catarina in 2004. It's name was based on the Brazilian state it was near to and eventually made landfall in. It was the first known hurricane ever recorded in the South Atlantic.

South Atlantic Data in the ATCF System

Our site's best track and model system processes data from the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting System (ATCF) so that it can viewed in various ways on our site. Because NOAA hasn't been designated by the WMO to be responsible for tropical cyclones that develop in the South Atlantic, they do not consistently have storm data for that region, though they have at times for the area near Brazil. If the data ever becomes available in a more consistent manner, we may begin to have the data from NOAA on our site, even if it happened to be just for the area near Brazil. (where the tropical and subtropical cyclones are most likely to form anyway) You can learn more about the ATCF system on the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Monterey site here. They developed the ATCF system. You can also learn more here at Wikipedia.

Data for the South Atlantic in the ATCF system might be available at times using the basin identifier "LS" based on the page here. In 2019, Tropical Storm "Iba" was named by the Brazilian Navy and best track data appeared in the ATCF system using that basin identifier, although best track data later in 2019 was being stored in a file named "bls902019". A center fix file was also available. We're uncertain how the files were stored initially. (such as bls012019 for the best track file) Later in 2019, Subtropical Storm "Jaguar" did not appear in the ATCF system. In 2011, Subtropical Storm "Arani" had best track data stored in a file named "bsl502011" but it did not include the name "Arani". A model file, with only "CARQ" and "XTRP" data, and a center fix file, with only "ASCT" and "DVTS", were also available. Those files had a basin identifier of "sl" rather than "ls".

Prior to Brazil naming storms in an organized way in 2011, informal names were sometimes used by some. Two storms in the South Atlantic before 2011 appear in the ATCF system. In both, no names appear. The best track data for those two storms had the file names "bal502004" and "bsl502010". The 2010 storm, nicknamed Tropical Storm "Anita" by some, had a more complete model and center fix file. The basin identifier used was "sl". The 2004 storm, nicknamed Hurricane "Catarina", had limited model data and did not have a center fix file. It used "al" as the basin identifier.

Because there is not yet consistency in how and when the data is available, we don't currently include South Atlantic data on our site.