Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tropics are still quiet.

Satellite imagery over the tropical Atlantic for this Thursday afternoon,  shows no areas of  real convection. There are four or five tropical waves out over the Atlantic and Gulf, but none show very much in the way of thunderstorm activity. But we do have a Cape Verde wave that does have some potential, low potential but potential none the less.

Cape Verde Waves can become classic Cape Verde hurricanes, so-named since their development can begin soon after a tropical wave leaves Africa and passes near or over the Cape Verde Islands.

I've been saying the reason for the slow season is dry dusty air, cool  surface water temperatures, and disruptive wind shear.  El Nino is on the stove cooking, but it's not quite ready to put on the table yet.

Here's a look at the latest Saharan Air Layer (SAL) image. You can see it is setting right over the normal tropical cyclone formation zone.  The Models show this continuing for the next 6-10 days, and maybe longer. The teleconnections are all showing it should be quiet in the Tropical Atlantic Basin for the next week and a half to two weeks.
                                                                 Saharan Air Layer

We also have a giant area of high pressure setting in the middle of the Atlantic. This is forcing the tropical waves to the south. Looking at the wave emerging off the West Coast of Africa, you can see it is south of where waves normally emerge. 
                                             GFS showing high pressure over the Atlantic

As I said this Cape Verde wave has potential. The environment is hostile. But this could be slowly changing.  Wind shear has started to relax over the last few days.....this tendency looks to continue for the next week to ten days.
                                                           Wind Shear yesterday

                                                               Wind Shear Today 

Hurricane Donna was a Cape Verde storm, she too emerged south of Dakar. I'm not saying this wave will do the same thing, in fact it odds of development are low... But it has possibilities.
                                                Areas where development is possible

                                                          Hurricane Donna's track
We also have an area in the northern Caribbean and off the Southeast Coast that has a chance for development, as well.

So while it is quiet now, anything can happen. Tropical Cyclone Bertha is bound to form sometime this season.

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