• Bryan Norcross

Lots of systems but no immediate threats in the tropical Atlantic

The large area of disturbed weather across the tropical Atlantic just south of the Saharan dust plume has 3 distinct circulations embedded in it. Exactly how they will evolve and interact with the dust and perhaps each other is not 100% clear, but none appear to be a threat. At least for the foreseeable future.



Tropical Disturbance #1 is the least likely to develop into an organized system. The best evidence is that it will move across the northern Caribbean islands over the next several days as a moisture surge, and reach the vicinity of Florida late next week. It could be accompanied by gusty tropical downpours, but nothing that doesn’t happen regularly during hurricane season.


Tropical Disturbance #2 has a well-defined circulation but lacks any significant thunderstorm activity. Dry air is apparently affecting the system. The computer forecast models are all over the place with this disturbance. The models that strengthen it, take it to the north. Those that keep is weak, hold it south as an insignificant system. In any case, there is no indication it will a threat, at least in well into next week.



Tropical Disturbance #3 has not been able to pull itself together, and now the odds look low that it will. It has a large circulation, but the upper-level winds in that part of the ocean are somewhat hostile at the moment. Over time, dry air may wipe out the system, or it might get absorbed into Disturbance #2. In any case, it is unlikely to be a threat to land.


All this activity is normal. Most of the disturbances that come off Africa and move across the Atlantic during the hurricane season do not develop. They move west without encountering the set of atmospheric conditions that allow them to organize – especially conducive upper winds and a moist atmosphere.


We are still a week or two away from the big uptick in tropical activity, just looking at the averages. For now, there’s stuff to look at, but nothing of concern.