Talking the Tropics With Mike: Couple areas to keep an eye on

Saharan Dust continues over much of the Atlantic

Talking the Tropics With Mike: Couple areas to keep an eye on

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Low pressure will be developing during the upcoming week over the W. Atlantic to the east of the Carolina’s before moving northeast. Some tropical development is possible, but it looks like the low stays east of the U.S. over the Atlantic.

Several tropical waves are moving west from Africa over the Central & Eastern Atlantic just south of the main plume of dust. No immediate development but something to keep an eye on next week & beyond once into or near the Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile... the initial cloud of Saharan dust (5th image below) from last week has spread over the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico & into the Southeast U.S. while gradually thinning/mixing out. Some of the dust has spread east as it encounters a sagging jet stream over the U.S. so some haze for Jacksonville & surrounding areas.

A second surge of dust is over much of the Eastern Atlantic & will also travel west in the coming days. The recent dust “activity” is large - perhaps the most extensive in years - but dust clouds as a whole are quite typical for June & July & is indicative of generally dry mid & upper level air which can often times inhibit tropical development. However, I’ve seen tropical systems thrive just outside the dust cloud ... or once away from the dusty atmosphere (see 2004)... so it’s not a “shoe in” that there will be no tropical development just because a lot of dust exists (see Dolly this week & Dorian last year). Other factors have to be considered such as the overall shear values across the Atlantic Basin, general vertical motion values & sea surface temps. which are nowhere near their seasonal peak yet.


Atlantic dust:

2020 names..... “Edouard” is next on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random by the World Meteorological Organization... repeat every 6 years... historic storms are retired (Florence & Michael last year) & Dorian is certain to be retired from the ’19 list....


East Atlantic:


Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear of which there is plenty across most of the Atlantic at the moment:

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content is extreme over the NW Caribbean:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:

Caribbean:

Global tropical activity: