August is typically when tropical activity in the Atlantic ramps up, with more than three times the number of storms forming on average compared to June or July. But unlike the atypical start to our season, namely the four storms within the first three weeks, normalcy may be returning. After a quiet July (which isn’t that uncommon), our next named storm may only be a few days away.
There are two tropical waves of interest in the Atlantic Basin. One is moving through the northern Caribbean and is not expected to develop. A second, stronger area of lower pressure is organizing east of the southern Winward Islands and will likely develop into a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours. Chances are also high that this feature will become Tropical Storm Ernesto as it moves across the island chain into the eastern Caribbean Sea.
Forecast data suggests that this potential storm will move west or west-northwestward and likely pass south of Puerto Rico and Hispañola. Environmental conditions are marginally favorable for strengthening by Saturday and Sunday should the storm stay on a more southern route. Stronger winds aloft and some dry air may inhibit strengthening, however, if this future storm moves further north and closer to the island chain.
The WRUF Forecast Team will have updates on the tropics at 20 minutes past the hour on WRUF-TV, which can be seen on Cox Cable Channel 6 or over the air on 10.1.