Talking the Tropics With Mike: Quiet last week of July across the Atlantic

A new storm pops over the East Pacific

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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 late week.

But a series of tropical waves continue to move west off the coast of Africa with forecast models indicating little development, especially in the short term. This seems reasonable since there continues to be a good deal of dry mid & upper level air over especially the Central & Eastern Atlantic (see Saharan dust 11th image below) though the “mass” has been shrinking some. It seems most plausible that any significant development will have to wait until the wave has emerged from the dust over the SW Atlantic, Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.

Indeed long term global models have been showing some signs of development over or near the Caribbean by the upcoming weekend into the following week, so it is something to keep an eye on. However, models have been inconsistent on exactly where & to what extent.

Wind shear:

The location of development of tropical systems in July since 1851 generally favors the NW Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico & far Western Atlantic:


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:

A tropical depression has formed over the E. Pacific & will strengthen while staying well away from any populated areas....

West Pacific IR satellite:

Global tropical activity:


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