Talking the Tropics With Mike: Weak tropical wave off Carolina coast

Second wave over Central Atlantic

Talking the Tropics With Mike: Weak tropical wave off Carolina coast

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After 1 named storm in July - "Barry" (marginal hurricane at most), we head into the busier 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.


The weak tropical wave that dropped heavy rain on Jacksonville & much of Central & South Florida has "turned the corner" & is moving NE over the W. Atlantic well to the northeast of Jacksonville.  Some development is possible now that the turn has occurred & there's some interaction with an upper level trough, but the disturbance will continue to move away from the U.S.

An active wave - '96-L' - continues moving west across the Central Atlantic.  Little short term development is expected but something to keep an eye on in the longer run.  By the middle of next week, the wave should be approaching the Northeast Caribbean &/or SW Atlantic with potentially more favorable conditions to organize before shear increases again either weakening the system or limiting the wave to "steady state".  This wave should be fairly close to the Bahamas - & east of Fl. - approximately Aug. 7 - 9th rounding the western edge of the Bermuda high.  I would not be surprised if this wave manages to become "Chantal" before atmospheric conditions become hostile closer to the Bahamas & NE Caribbean.  Key in the future long term movement will be a recently persistent upper level trough over the Eastern U.S. + the exact positioning of the Bermuda High.  It should be noted that a weaker, more shallow system will likely have the potential to get farther west - which has been indicated in most recent models - which then becomes more problematic IF intensification then follows.  Forecast models have been inconsistent - to say the least - on the development of this wave but it needs to be carefully monitored.  There may be more intensification once the '96-L' rounds the west edge of the Bermuda high over the Western Atlantic.

Another wave is following '96-L' & has some long term potential as well.  This wave will be under virtually the same steering influences as '96-L'.

Model plots for wave '96-L':

The chart below is the upper (500mb) level forecast for next Wed., Aug. 7th.  The weak - but still significant & recently persistent - trough over the Eastern U.S. is what will help guide the weak Florida wave north then northeast off the coast then over the Atlantic through early next week & may also play an important role in the eventual track of the Eastern Atlantic wave.

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

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. 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:



Fast weakening "Erick" well south of Hawaii is in the process of dissipating but  some rough surf will result on the south-facing beaches.  "Flossie" follows & will be near/north of Hawaii early next week but - again like its predecessor - quickly weakening.

Flossie model plots: