The Great October Tropical Pause continues
A lonely X decorates today’s tropical weather map. The window of opportunity for the low-pressure system in the middle of the Atlantic to develop has closed. The odds the system would be able to become an independent tropical entity were always very low.
Satellite measurements showed that the system had strong enough winds to be named Tropical Storm Wanda, but the system only had an elongated circulation. It had a long way to go to consolidate into an organized tropical system.
The Wanda wannabe is now being absorbed by a giant North Atlantic low-pressure system and cold front. It should lose its independent identity by late today or tomorrow.
Looking into the future, the long-range computer forecast models don’t show anything developing next week. During the last week of October, early forecasts show a chance of development in the western Caribbean, but no strong signal for anything significant.
In the tropical Pacific, NOAA has declared that La Niña is officially underway. Water temperatures in a key part of the Pacific along the equator have stayed cold for three months straight, which meets the criterion.
La Niña conditions generally include an upper-level wind regime over the Atlantic that is conducive for tropical development. But it’s only one piece of the puzzle.
Last year, hurricane season continued well into November, likely driven by a late-season La Niña that was even stronger than this year’s. On November 8th, Tropical Storm Eta was menacing South Florida, and recall that powerful and devastating hurricanes developed in the Caribbean into the middle of the month.
That doesn’t mean we’re going to see that again. But the bottom line is, it’s more likely than not that another storm will form somewhere before hurricane season ends.