• Talking the Tropics With Mike: Keeping a watch on the Gulf of Mexico

    By: Michael Buresh

    Updated:

    Aug. 19, 2019 - The "Buresh Bottom Line": Always be prepared!.....First Alert Hurricane Survival Guide... City of Jacksonville Preparedness Guide... Georgia Hurricane Guide.  

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    There has been no named storm over the Atlantic Basin from July 15th through Aug. 19th.  The last time the same period had no named storms was 1982 - a season with only 6 named storms.

    There are some signs that the Atlantic is becoming a little more active.  

    First of all... the velocity potential anomaly map below shows rising vertical velocities (green lines) overspreading the Pacific Basin.  This should help with some tropical development in the short term over the Eastern Pacific & eventually - by late Aug. - over parts of the Atlantic Basin.  And could help get something going this week over the Gulf of Mexico.

    Weak low pressure - mostly at mid & upper levels - that formed near & west of Jacksonville, FL. late last Friday is moving northeast over the Western Atlantic east of the U.S. coast.  The system is now fully under the influence of an upper level trough to the north & no significant development is expected as the low accelerates to the northeast over the open Atlantic.

    Meanwhile.... weak upper level "energy" persists along the Gulf Coast stretched out north/south from the Northern Gulf to near the Fl. Panhandle into the Tennessee Valley.  No significant surface reflection (low pressure) is expected to form but heavy rain will continue along the Gulf Coast & Southeast U.S. coast well into this week.

    Another area to watch during the week into the weekend will still be the Western Gulf of Mexico.  A pretty decent tropical wave & upper level disturbance will work northward into & over the Western Gulf by mid to late week.  While models show only weak surface development - if any at all - this will be an area to watch for "sneaky" development in an area - historically speaking, the Western Gulf  - is highly favored in mid to late Aug.

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    An examination of dust over the Central & Eastern Atlantic shows a continuation of a good deal of dust over the Central & Eastern Atlantic.  While such dry air can inhibit tropical development initially, once any waves are farther west or if the wave can stay a little south & out of the dust "cloud" - & IF all other conditions are equal - organization/strengthening can occur.  The 2005 hurricane season stands out (along with several other seasons) as a "dusty" Eastern Atlantic but disturbances simply waited to get out of the dust - further to the west - to develop & then "make history".

    2019 names..... "Chantal" is next on the Atlantic list (names are picked at random... repeat every 6 years... historic storms are retired (Florence & Michael last year):

     

    Atlantic Basin today:

    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 the Atlantic at the moment:

    The Atlantic Basin:

    Water vapor imagery (dark blue indicates dry air):

    Deep oceanic heat content:

    Sea surface temp. anomalies show some "cool" water remaining over the E. & N. Atlantic but avg. to above avg. temps. for much of the rest of the Atlantic Basin.....

    SE U.S. surface map:

    Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

    Surface analysis of the Gulf:

    Caribbean:

     

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