Currently in the Atlantic - October 6, 2022

The weather, currently.

There are two areas meteorologists are watching right now in the Atlantic but both are not expected to affect the continental US. First is Tropical Depression Twelve. TD 12 is expected to do nothing more than become what we meteorologists call a "fish storm" meaning it won't be a storm for anyone else except the fish in the Atlantic Ocean. You can see from the image below this depression is anticipated to dissipate over the ocean early on Friday.

Meanwhile, we turn out attention to the tropical disturbance that is now being called Invest 91L pictured in the satellite imagery below (the orange x).

This storm is located over the far southeastern Caribbean Sea and does not have a well-defined centers. Right now models project this system will interact with land in northern South America which will hinder its development. However, we should note that once it moves away from South America and heads north, this storm will enter an area favorable for further development. You can see from the image below, that sea surface temperatures are very warm in that area of the Caribbean and will act as boost for development.

CDAS Sea Surface Temperatures from Tropical Tidbits. 

Models project, this storm will develop into a Tropical Depression (could be named Tropical Depression 13) and will make landfall in Central America near Nicaragua over the weekend (late Saturday night into early Sunday morning) and bring heavy rainfall to Central America all the way to the Yucatan Peninsula.

HWRF model from Tropical Tidbits shows what could become Tropical Depression 13 coming to Nicaragua over the weekend. 

The key impacts to note for this system when it comes to Central America are:

1) Heavy rainfall

2) Localized flooding and potential rock/mudslides.

3) Gusty to gale force winds.

Currently meteorologists will be watching this area closely over the weekend and will bring you any news about the storm to our Twitter page @Currently.

-Megan Montero

What you need to know, currently.

More bad news about methane! A new study in Science covering the three largest oil and gas basins found that flaring — the method through which companies dispose of unwanted methane — is often significantly less effective than previously thought. For decades, the prevailing wisdom was that flaring destroyed methane with 98 percent efficiency, turning it into CO2 which (while still not exactly beneficial) does less harm to the atmosphere. Researchers found that unlit and inefficient flares are allowing roughly five times as much methane to escape than previously believed.

Methane has roughly 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide and emissions have risen sharply since 2007, for reasons scientists don’t completely understand. Researchers worry that the rise in methane output may signal that we have entered into a self-perpetuating cycle in terms of climate change, making global heating even more difficult to reign in. Looked at in this light, the new study in Science on flaring inefficiency is both a depressing example of oil and gas laxity and a potential source of methane emission mitigation. Fix the flares and you can (slightly) bring down methane output.

What you can do, currently.

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