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Back to Afternoon Storms... Check of the Tropics

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Updated: 7/18/2013 11:02 pm
Moisture is surging northward & will bring an end to our recent "dry spell". Midday through afternoon t'storms will blossom each day through the weekend into early next week.  Storm motion will generally be north/northwest Fri. then become more east/northeast over the weekend.  There will be t'storm cells that move "deviant" to the mean flow.  In other words, while the general movement is a certain direction, outflow & sea breeze interactions can cause cell movement/propagation that varies from the average movement of the majority of the t'storm cells.  This is far from a washout situation but there will be periods of heavy rain with all areas getting at least some rain through the weekend.  Radar imagery below courtesy S. Fl. Water Management District.

The tropics have gone quiet.  Even last week's "Chantal" developed within a generally unfavorable environment which eventually led to the system's demise.  A fairly active tropical wave is moving through the Greater Antilles but little development appears likely with this wave.  In fact, there are no tropical cyclones in any of the global basin - something that's not real common in mid July.


A couple of things to consider when looking at the Atlantic Basin right now:

(1) there is a good deal of dry mid & upper level air -- see satellite image below -- across the Atlantic between the Caribbean & African coast.  Something else that stands out is the lack of much in the way of tropical waves coming off the coast of Africa at the moment.

(2) a large area of "sinking" air.  See the image below - potential velocity anomalies (which I often discuss).  The brown areas represent subsident or sinking air which is generally not conducive to tropical cyclone development.  You can see this correlation with the infrared satellite imagery superimposed on the image below.  Notice the far less convection (cold [colorful] cloud tops) where there is sinking motion.  The green areas over Asia & the far W. Pacific denote air that is rising.  Such an atmosphere is more favorable for convection & tropical cyclone development.  This area of green should spread eastward the next couple weeks & will first spur potential tropical development in the E. Pacific next week then the Atlantic Basin late in July/early in Aug.

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