Talking the Tropics With Mike: First week of Aug. will be quiet across the Atlantic

Eastern Pacific briefly goes calm

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REMEMBER WHEN A TROPICAL STORM OR HURRICANE IS APPROACHING: Taping windows is *NOT* helpful & will not keep glass from breaking.

Realize the forecast cone (”cone of uncertainty”) is the average forecast error over a given time - out to 5 days - & *does not* indicate the width of the storm &/or damage that might occur.

The Atlantic Basin remains quiet & no tropical development is expected through the into much of next week.

Dry mid & upper level air, a good deal of shear & a general “sinking” (known as subsidence) motion are ruling the day across the Atlantic helping to squash the westward moving tropical waves.

The Saharan dust has been prolific across much of the Atlantic over the last week or so but is scattering out across much of the Western Atlantic & Caribbean. The dust is usually co-located with dry mid & upper level air that can slow or inhibit tropical development. But I’ve often seen waves that can thrive on the edges of the dust plume or once the wave exits the dust plume. Remember the dust is a product of the dry air not vice-versa. But for now - nothin’ cookin’.

The orange, red & pink shows the dry air over much of the Atlantic Basin:

Climatologically we’re at least right on track with the typical hurricane season. The 3rd named Atlantic storm is Aug. 3 on avg. (3 so far this year but Colin was a “gift”) & the avg. date of the 4th named storm is not until Aug. 15. The average date of the first Atlantic hurricane is Aug. 11th. And the peak of the Atlantic season is not until Sept. 10th. A long way to go in other words.

The graphic below shows the number of storms through the end of July since 2015:

Wind shear:

The location of development of tropical systems in August since 1851 during a month which often sees the long track tropical cyclones from the deep tropics:


Saharan dust spreads west each year from Africa by the prevailing winds (from east to west over the Atlantic). Dry air - yellow/orange/red/pink. Widespread dust is indicative of dry air that can impede the development of tropical cyclones. However, sometimes “wanna’ be” waves will just wait until they get to the other side of - or away from - the plume then try to develop if other conditions are favorable. In my personal opinion, way too much is made about the presence of Saharan dust & how it relates to tropical cyclones. In any case, we’ve had several large dust plumes spread west to the Caribbean & Gulf with the peak of Saharan dust typically in June & July.

2022 names..... “Danielle” is the next name on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random by the World Meteorological Organization... repeat every 6 years). Historic storms are retired [Florence & Michael in ’18... Dorian in ’19 & Laura, Eta & Iota in ‘20 & Ida in ‘21]). In fact, this year’s list of names is rather infamous with “Charley”, “Frances”, “Jeanne” & “Ivan” retired from the ‘04 list (all hit Fl.) & “Matthew” was retired in 2016. The WMO decided - beginning last year - that the Greek alphabet will be no longer used & instead there will be a supplemental list of names if the first list is exhausted (has only happened three times - 2005, 2020 & 2021). The naming of tropical cyclones began on a consistent basis in 1953. More on the history of naming tropical cyclones * here *.

East Atlantic:

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear:

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content over the Gulf, Caribbean & deep tropical Atlantic:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:

Caribbean:

GFS wave forecast at 48 & 72 hours (2 & 3 days):

Atlantic Basin wave period forecast for 24, 48 & 72 hours respectively:

The East Pacific:

Frank & Georgette have dissipated but a new storm will likely develop well south of Mexico by at least early next week.

West Pacific:

Global tropical activity:


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