Talking the Tropics With Mike: Low latitude tropical waves moving west across Atlantic

Aug. 12, 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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August is often the beginning of the more active part of the Atlantic hurricane season. The third named storm is usually "on the map" by Aug. 13... the 4th by Aug. 23 & the 5th by Aug. 31 (43 years of data).  Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Colorado St. University & NOAA have now updated their seasonal forecasts & increased the numbers slightly.  Given what looks to be a very quiet Atlantic for at least the next couple weeks, the implication is an active Sept./Oct.  Ultimately, of course, the measuring stick in most folk's minds will be whether or not a storm makes landfall & how intense the damage is.  No way to know such right now.  In any case - always be prepared!


There's a parade of weak rather low latitude tropical waves from South America to Africa but nothing that looks to be developing anytime soon.  In fact, there's a remarkable lack of even cloudiness from the Caribbean through the Central Atlantic.

Forecast models have been "toying" with low pressure developing along the Gulf Coast late this week into the weekend.  But current indications are that this low pressure area would be in a marginal environment - shear, nearby dry air + proximity to land (possibly over land) - for much in the way of significant development.

Meanwhile... the Pacific is more active - "Lekima" - came ashore on the east coast of China over the weekend & Krosa will have some impact on Japan this week... & tropical storm Henriette has formed over the E. Pacific west of Mexico but is expected to soon dissipate.

An examination of dust over the Central & Eastern Atlantic shows an expanding area of dust/dry air over the Eastern & Central Atlantic extending into the Caribbean.  While such dry air can inhibit tropical development initially, once the wave is farther west & out of the dust "cloud" - IF all other conditions are equal - organization/strengthening can occur.  The 2005 hurricane season stands out 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):

East Atlantic:



p>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: