• Bryan Norcross

Watching the far eastern Atlantic for possible tropical development

There’s some potential action in the tropical Atlantic, but nothing that warrants an increased heart rate. There are a couple of tropical disturbances to discuss, but only what’s expected this time of year.



The National Hurricane Center is making note of two disturbances. Disturbance #1 is a long shot, but Disturbance #2 has a window of opportunity in the far eastern Atlantic, before it could run into problems.


Disturbance #1 is a large cluster about 2/3 of the way to the Caribbean islands from Africa that’s showing some signs of rotation. It’s on the edge of a large plume of Saharan dust that is dominating the eastern tropical and subtropical Atlantic. In order to move farther north, the disturbance is going to have to deal with some of that dusty air and marginal upper-level winds.


At this point, the odds of Disturbance #1 being anything more than a moisture surge when it gets anywhere near the Bahamas or Florida are low.



Disturbance #2 is more robust. It already has something of a circulation. The system is forecast to move off Africa later today. After it gets settled over the Atlantic, we’ll have a better idea what it’s going to do. But early indications are that it will have sufficient moisture around it to fight off the Saharan dust for at least a few days.


The system may well organize into a tropical depression or tropical storm over the weekend.


As it tries to lift north a bit, however, there’s a good chance that dry, dusty air will wrap into the circulation, which will likely weaken the system if it has developed by then. At the current time, the odds favor it weakening before it gets anywhere near the islands, but we’ll have to keep an eye on it.


The steering flow across the Atlantic is fairly weak at the current time, so it will take an unusually long time for any system to migrate even to the islands, let alone to the U.S.


There are other minor disturbances in between these systems, but none that show signs of development at this time.


It’s the time of year to be vigilant, but there is nothing of concern at the moment.