Talking the Tropics With Mike: Quiet week may become more active next week

Monitoring the Western Gulf of Mexico

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There are no areas of immediate concern over the Atlantic basin. Disorganized t’storms over the Western Caribbean pose little threat - through at least the weekend - thanks to close proximity to land & a good deal of shear.

There are hints - albeit inconsistently - in some long range forecast models of possible “mischief” over the Gulf - particularly the Western & Northwest Gulf through next week. The disturbance may come from a broad area of low pressure that will slowly evolve near Central America later this week into the weekend then gradually move northwest & north. There may also be some input from developing low pressure over the far E. Pacific off the coast of Central America. This evolution will likely be gradual & should - at the very least - bring more heavy rain to soaked areas of the Gulf Coast from Texas to Mississippi & Alabama.

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:

Caribbean:

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

Global tropical activity: