TROPICS STAY QUIET BUT THE ATLANTIC HEATS UP
The atmosphere over the tropical Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico continues to be hostile to tropical development. A strong high-pressure system is controlling the weather. The flow around the high is spreading Saharan Dust from Africa to Texas, and that’s expected to continue. The dry, dusty air significantly limits the development of tropical systems.
Tropical disturbances are moving off Africa on schedule, but they are depressed far south for now, and die out if the excessively dry air.
Next week, we’ll watch for the possibility of another one of those non-tropical systems off the Carolina coast. An area of low pressure is forecast to form over the Southeast and eventually move offshore along with its attach frontal system. If it lingers over warm enough water, the system could take on some tropical characteristics. In any case, it’s not expected to be a threat to land.
That developing low over the Southeast should disrupt the blazing hot weather pattern over South Florida, at least a bit. It's forecast to pull some tropical moisture north, bringing a better chance of summer thunderstorms. Also, the breeze should pick up and storm chances increase over the weekend and especially early next week. If that happens as forecast, it won’t be as ridiculously hot.
Otherwise across the tropics, satellite measurements of the Atlantic water temperature show that the tropical waters are running warmer than average. We don’t like that because a warm ocean normally means more and stronger tropical systems. There is a pretty direct correlation between the water temperature in the tropical Atlantic and the number of named storms and hurricanes in a season.
The tropical ocean is not wildly above average, but even this amount of extra warmth makes a difference.
On the map, the yellow areas are above average, and the blue areas below. The numbers indicate how many degrees Celsius. Each degree Celsius is about 2 degrees Fahrenheit. The areas inside lines labeled “1” are between 2 and 3 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. The “0” line is where the water temperature is about average.
Most often, a warm ocean by this time of the summer stays warm into hurricane season. But not always. We’ve been surprised in the past.
For now, it’s a reminder that the ingredients are in place for an active hurricane season. If there was ever a year to prepare in advance, this is it.