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  • Writer's pictureBryan Norcross


The tropics are buzzing with potential systems, but none of the ones in the tropical Atlantic appear ready to develop quickly, if they do at all. These are the disturbances we watch closest this time in the hurricane season.

There is also a non-tropical disturbance on the map, Disturbance #1, over extreme north Florida. As it moves out over the Atlantic off the Southeast coast the next few days, it might become tropical enough to get a name. We’ve seen a number of systems do that this year. It does not appear that this system would become a threat to land.

The next storm to get named will be Tropical Storm Nana.

In the tropics, Tropical Disturbance #2 is passing across the eastern Caribbean islands today with gusty squalls. As it moves across the Caribbean Sea this week, it might develop an organized circulation. It will be fighting with dry air, however, which lowers its chances of development.

Tropical Disturbance #3 is quite far south and will be slow to develop, if it ever does. It appears this system will be part of a moisture surge moving across the islands without immediate development late in the week.

Tropical Disturbances #4 and #5 have a decent chance of developing in the next few days. Whether they merge into one circulation, or stay separate is not clear, but a tropical depression or tropical storm appears likely to form out of the broad area of disturbed weather near and offshore of the African coast.

Until it’s clear where a circulation center is going to form, it’s impossible to know what track it might take.

High pressure is spread across the Atlantic. The flow around the high is continuing to spread dusty Saharan air north of the tropical storm track, while the high also blocks systems from turning north. A break is forecast to develop in the high, which could give Disturbances #4/5 an outlet to turn north, but that’s not certain.

In any case, nothing is going to happen quickly. The steering currents in the far eastern Atlantic are currently weak, so systems will move west slowly, at least for now.

The prominence of Saharan dust across the eastern Atlantic appears to have limited the development of tropical systems over that part of the ocean so far this hurricane season. Normally, the amount of dry, dusty air over the ocean wanes around the middle of August, but this year it’s still coming.

Obviously, strong hurricanes can still develop, as we saw with Laura, when conditions are favorable farther west. But, with other factors appearing to favor tropical development across the main region where big storms organize between the Caribbean and Africa, the dust is a welcome dampening factor. It is forecast to stay on the job for a while longer, at least.


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