Talking the Tropics With Mike: Tropical depression #7 soon to be “Gonzalo”

Tropical wave could become a tropical cyclone over the Gulf of Mexico - headed for Texas

Talking the Tropics With Mike: Tropical depression #7 soon to be “Gonzalo”

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Three areas to watch over the tropical Atlantic:

(1) low pressure over the Central Atlantic has become tropical depression #7 & will likely become tropical storm “Gonzalo”. A steady westward movement is expected turning a little northwest by the weekend over the Caribbean. Most global forecast models - both the European & GFS for instance - are not very strong with the tropical cyclone, especially once into the Caribbean likely because of pretty dry mid & upper level air as well as some shear. Close proximity to the S. American coast may also play a role. But conditions may change some + shear looks weaker over the Western Caribbean so the long term prognosis is still up in the air, especially if t.d. #7 can survive the less favorable conditions over/near the Eastern Caribbean. At least some squalls can be expected for some of the Central/Southern Lesser Antilles Fri. into Saturday.

(2) a “stretched out” tropical wave has moved into the SE Gulf of Mexico & continues to produce a lot of disorganized convection over Cuba, Florida & nearby areas while moving northwest. This wave is bringing some heavy rain to South & Central Florida but will be moving away from Florida by Wed. Some slow organization of this wave is possible this week before reaching the Texas coast about Friday. It’s not out of the question, the wave could be a depression or even a tropical storm by late week.

(3) A strong tropical wave has just come off the coast of Africa but is void of much convection & at a higher latitude than t.d. #7 but does appear to have some long term potential.

Overall.... it looks like a much more active Atlantic late this month into at least the first week of Aug. T

Radar imagery below courtesy South Florida Water Management District:

Meanwhile... “velocity potential anomalies” map below shows why we could - & should - see more tropical activity over both the E. Pacific & Atlantic in the coming weeks. The green lines indicate “upward” vertical velocities which are shown to be in a narrow but strong corridor spreading over the Central & Eastern Pacific. This upward motion in the atmosphere often correlates with increased t’storm activity & sometimes tropical development & is right in concert with the development of tropical cyclone Douglas over the E. Pacific. I would expect to see at least a couple of named storms pop over the Atlantic Basin between now & August 10th.


Atlantic dust continues to spill west off of the Saharan desert over the E. Atlantic. Tropical waves continue to “fester” along the south edge of the dust & have the potential to thrive once away from the dust.

2020 names..... “Gonzalo” 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:

In the East Pacific.... “Douglas” has formed & will continue moving west/northwest becoming a hurricane. Douglas should be near Hawaii by late in the weekend & may still be a tropical storm.

Global tropical activity: