Talking the Tropics With Mike: Eye on the Western Caribbean & W. Gulf in the long run

Quiet Atlantic Basin for the moment

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There are no areas of immediate concern over the Atlantic basin as we move into the second week of the ‘21 hurricane season.

There are hints in some long range forecast models of possible “mischief” over the Gulf - particularly the Western &/or Northern Gulf but not for another week or so. The disturbance may come from an area of low pressure that will slowly evolve near Central America later this week into the weekend then gradually move northwest.


Water temps. are seasonally warm to above avg. in the deep tropics which raises concern for long track hurricane development once we are deeper into the hurricane season. On the other hand, water temps. are avg. to even a little below avg. across much of the rest of the basin. Our (NE Fl./SE Ga.) local water temps. are only slowly rising - mostly in the upper 70s - below avg. for early to mid June. The expectation is for water temps. to recover to at least avg. - if not above avg. - by July/Aug. Time will tell.

Water temps. still not to 80 degrees F up & down the Central & North coast of Florida (27 degrees C = 80 degrees F):

Progression of the hurricane season (tropical storms vs. hurricanes vs. Cat. 3+ hurricanes) through Nov.:

Saharan dust. Dry air - yellow/orange/red/pink - is extensive over especially the Central & Eastern Atlantic. Such widespread dust is quite common early in the hurricane season:

2021 names..... “Bill” 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). Last year - 2020 - had a record 30 named storms. The WMO decided beginning in 2021 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 twice - 2005 & 2020). More on the history of naming tropical cyclones * here *.

A pretty active tropical wave - especially for this early in the season - has emerged off the coast of Africa but long range development seems unlikely.

East Atlantic:

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear which is widespread from the Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean eastward across much of the Atlantic:

Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

Deep oceanic heat content is lacking but typical for so early in the season:

Sea surface temp. anomalies:

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:


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

Global tropical activity: