Talking the Tropics With Mike: Twin tropical waves over the Caribbean

Pacific will be the active basin for a while

Talking the Tropics With Mike: Twin tropical waves over the Caribbean

FREE NEWS UPDATES, ALERTS: Action News Jax app for Apple | For Android

Content Continues Below

READ the First Alert Hurricane Center "Survival Guide"

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).  In other words, we're about right on schedule so far.  Dr. Phil Klotzbach, Colorado St. University has updated his seasonal forecast with little change since earlier this year.  If accurate, there would be 12 more named storms during the upcoming months.... 7 of which would become hurricanes, 2 "major".


A tropical wave - '96-L' - that came off the coast of Africa last week continues moving west/northwest across the Caribbean & will move over the Yucatan Peninsula by Fri. producing showers & t'storms.  Shear + land interaction should continue to keep this wave "in check" leading to its eventual dissipation.  Due to its "shallowness" (weak), the wave continues on a more westward track.

Another wave is entering the Eastern Caribbean but like its predecessor will likely lose the battle to shear.

Otherwise the Atlantic is very quiet while the NW Pacific is active with typhoon - "Lekima" - affecting China over the weekend into early next week moving just northeast of Taiwan.  The East Pacific will become more active over the next 1 - 2 weeks.

An examination of dust over the Central & Eastern Atlantic shows a pretty heavy area of dust/dry air over the Eastern & Central Atlantic.  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:



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: